HAVE you ever wondered how many thoughts you think in a day? An unusual question perhaps, but not superfluous. We think a lot of thoughts in a day, that's certain. Even in an hour. This very fact should tell us that if we want a better day, we ought to pay more attention to the quality of our thinking. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.''1
This is not to encourage mere upbeat attitudes or any avoidance of dealing with the tougher aspects of human experience. It's to encourage us to turn to God for healing thoughts of spiritual reality; to hold to the fact that good is true because it comes from God Himself. Reliance on God enables us to meet depressing conditions face to face with calmness and intelligent resolve.
Thoughts that derive from a mortal mentality involve fear, illusion, misconception--whatever fosters discord. Such thoughts are distinctly inferior to those coming from God, Spirit, from the one infinite Mind. God's pure thoughts are characterized by peace, strength, fulfillment, harmony.
The prophet represents God as saying: ``My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.''2 And Mrs. Eddy writes: ``God's thoughts are perfect and eternal, are substance and Life. Material and temporal thoughts are human, involving error, and since God, Spirit, is the only cause, they lack a divine cause.''3
Through communion with God, through prayer that includes a powerful acknowledgment of man's relationship to his Maker, we become receptive to God's healing thoughts. We perceive our innate spiritual capacity to surmount ungodlike thinking--the producer of hate, sickness, fear, lack, and so forth--and replace it with the life-giving, love-embracing, fruit-bearing consciousness of good that brings our experience under the control of divine law.
Christ Jesus' life epitomized this consciousness of divine good. He said, ``Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.''4 His thoughts of man's true perfection as God's image carried such deific authority that those whom they touched were healed of physical ailments and at times radically reformed in character. His day was filled with accomplishment because his thinking was governed by divine energy and wisdom.
Not that we can start out doing all the remarkable things that he did. We should move toward that goal by beginning with the needs and responsibilities of our daily lives. For instance, one morning I got up feeling that my day was too precious to spend doing a lot of toilsome chores. All those thoughts that promised a wasted day stemmed from a dead-end, mortal view of man and his purpose. Recognizing the pitfalls of such a view, I turned to God for a far truer, more refreshing concept of man as the unlabored expression of God, including all that is enduring and good. The result was a totally different day from what I had at first expected. My wife and I began a project that lasted two full days, after which we felt a solid sense of fulfillment and renewal. This led to tackling a much larger improvement project, which I had been avoiding for years.
More than the satisfaction of completing a beautification program, however, has been an increased receptivity to God's strengthening, activating thoughts, which have the power to throw off debilitating beliefs that so often minimize one's accomplishments.
What a difference learning to abandon temporal thoughts for spiritual thoughts can make in the value and productivity of our day!
1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 261. 2Isaiah 55:8, 9. 3Science and Health, p. 286. 4John 12:50. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBILE VERSE:`How precious...are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!' Psalms 139:17