The Higher Shopping Service and A Course in MiraclesThere are many parts of the early version of “A Course in Miracles” that are left out in later editions.  In the Urtext (the “original” text published by Miracles in Action Press) of A Course in Miracles, we get an inside look at the material that was omitted in later versions.

In the Urtext, it is really powerful to hear Jesus speaking directly to Helen and Bill – he truly comes alive!  (For those of you new to the Course, the Scribe of the Course, Helen Schucman, believed that the Inner Voice she heard was the voice for Jesus.  If “Jesus” makes you uncomfortable, substitute another word that feels acceptable (Higher Self, the Universe, Oneness, “J,” etc.)). And not only does he come alive – his sense of humor really shines through too.

One part in the Urtext that I just love, is in the footnotes on page 12.

In this part, Jesus is talking to Helen about her experience while shopping for a coat.  The quote is as follows:

The reason I direct everything that is unimportant is because it is no way to waste your free will.  If you insist on doing the trivial your way, you waste too much time and will on it.  Will cannot be free if it is tied up in trivia. It never gets out.


I will tell exactly what to do in connection with everything that doesn’t matter. That is not an area where choice should be invested. There is better use of time.


You have to remember to ask me to take charge of all minutiae, and it will be taken care of so well and so quickly that you cannot bog down in it.


The only remaining problem is that you will be unwilling to ask because you are afraid not to be bogged down. Don’t let this hold us back. If you will ask, I will arrange these things even if you’re not too enthusiastic.


Prayer can safely be very specific in little matters. If you need a coat, ask me where to find one.  I know your taste well, and I also know where the coat is that you would eventually buy anyway.


If you don’t like the coat afterwards, that is what would have happened anyway. I did not pick out the coat for you. You said you wanted something warm, inexpensive, and capable of taking rough wear. I told you you could get a Borgana, but I let you get a better one because the furrier needed you.


Note, however, that it is better in terms of  the criteria you established. I could do this because you saw the coat more that way than in terms of a particular material.


You thought of Klein’s yourself a few days ago, and then you decided against it, because Borgana is price-fixed. Then you remembered a coat Grace once got there that was much cheaper, and seemed pretty much the same, and asked yourself whether it was really right to be sold on a particular trade name through advertising. That opened your mind.


I cannot save you more time than you will let Me, but if you are willing to try the Higher Shopping Service, which also covers all lower-order necessities and even quite a number of whims within reason, I have very good use for the time we could save.


Remember, the specific answer you get depends on the specific question you ask. The fewer limits you impose, the better the answer you’ll get…

So next time you’re shopping, why not use “the higher shopping service?”  Ask Jesus for help in finding what you need.  But remember, the point is not about getting that THING we’re looking for, but it is about turning over the shopping experience (the minutiae) to Jesus, because he wants US to spend more time with HIM.

There are so many gems in this section of the Urtext – what stands out to you? Tell me about your experience with “The Higher Shopping Service” or handing the “minutiae” over to “J.”


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