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A question of perspective

ONCE I was talking to a friend about a project I had been working on for some time that was being held up by one small point. He listened patiently and then commented, ``Well surely you aren't going to get upset about a little thing like that!'' It didn't seem at all a little thing tome at the time, but he went on to suggest that I should think more gratefully aboutall the progress that had already been achieved, and then the complete solution would come about much more readily. And so it proved. I've often thought about this since then, whenever snags and flaws and discrepancies have threatened to spoil what I was doing and undermine my confidence.

This might simply have been a kind of facile optimism or an unwillingness to face up fully to the implications of a situation if it hadn't been for the fact that an important change took place in this instance -- a change of thought from a material to a spiritual perspective. A better sense of God's government and care was gained, and this cut the problem down to size. When we think differently about the ``little things'' through a spiritually expansive view of God and of ourselves, the details fall into place much more readily.

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Often what seems a very little thing spiritually can make a big difference in our lives. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, says: ``A little more grace, a motive made pure, a few truths tenderly told, a heart softened, a character subdued, a life consecrated, would restore the right action of the mental mechanism, and make manifest the movement of body and soul in accord with God.'' She says further, ``Experience shows that humility is the first step in Christian Science, wherein all is controlled, not by man or laws material, but by wisdom, Truth, and Love.''1

These may seem quite small changes of thought to make, but they bring us more in line with the infinite intelligence and goodness that God, the one divine Mind, continually imparts to man, His image and likeness. Our true selfhood is God's image, the very expression of the one Mind. In reality, then, we don't each have a private, materially-based mind, sometimes brilliant but more often dull. We reflect individually the infinite wisdom and intelligence of the divine Mind. And turning our thought to this infinitely good Mind in prayer lessens our sense of evil, and troubles begin to shrink.

Christ Jesus strove to impart to his disciples a clear sense of the power and magnitude of good and the consequent powerlessness of evil in all its forms, including the most aggressive types of disease. He spoke of the tiny mustard seed of faith, which can be sufficient to remove mountains.2 Jesus' teachings and healing works clearly point to the spiritual perspective that sees evil as a baseless imposition, subject to obliteration through the power of God and His Christ.

A personal, material point of view, based solely on the moment's appearances, would destroy our perspective by inflating evil. Certainly we can't afford to ignore evil; it must be recognized and confronted. But however large any mountain of evil may loom, and however firmly it may seem to be entrenched in human thought, it can be seen as chaff to be blown away by the almighty power of God.

We need to think less about what we have to face and more about the powerful, God-derived qualities with which we can face it. We can counter doubt with faith, fear with spiritual strength, impatience with patience, hostility with love, corruption with integrity. And we can be sure that there is always an infinite store of these qualities for us to draw on. Working from this standpoint, little things stay little in our thought, as they should, and we retain a sound perspective.

1Miscellaneous Writings, p. 354. 2See Matthew 17:20.

You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalms 42:11

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