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'Never swim alone'

A Christian Science perspective.

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Robert R. MacKusick

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Just outside our motel window was a sign on the swimming pool fence: “Never swim alone.” It’s a reminder to those who are underage to have an adult at the pool with them. The sign next to it said, “There is no substitute for adequate supervision.”

When I took this advice to a metaphysical level, it was comforting to realize that as children of God we are never “swimming” alone. God, divine Love, is always present, always protecting, and always fathering and mothering each one of us. His love is always present for every situation we might find ourselves in.

Why is that true? Because God’s sons and daughters are never isolated, alone, or separated from the Divine that has made them. God’s child – each one of us – is the result of God as Father-Mother, the only cause and creator. In truth, we can never be outside or beyond God’s constant guidance and care.

The writer of Psalm 139 says: “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me” (139:7-10).

To me this psalm means that God’s presence is with each of us wherever we are. For example, the presence of God as divine Mind is at the conference table enabling all participants to use the intelligence and wisdom inherent in them as God’s creation. The presence of God as divine Soul can be felt on the stage at every theatrical venue so that each performer has the creative expression needed. The presence of God as divine Truth is at the microphone enabling every public official to use his or her God-given ability to express courage and clarity.

If we find ourselves in a situation that is challenging – maybe even hellish – what steps can we take to feel God’s presence and “right hand”? Do we need a history of experience in turning to God, some kind of structured spiritual education, or special permission to access God’s love and ever-present help? No.

Since God, divine Love, is present right where we are at this very moment, all we need to do is reach out to God with our heart, as a child reaches out to a parent for comfort and reassurance. We don’t even need words. The heart’s sincere desire puts us in a receptive mode, in which we can immediately feel and experience that divine Love. As a child has expectancy, so can we have expectancy and confidence that God is right here, right now.

Throughout her writings, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, consistently turns to the supreme example of Christ Jesus, of how he turned to the divine source with the knowledge that God is always present, and how each one of us can do the same. She writes, “Listen, and he illustrates the rule: ‘Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said,... Whosoever ... shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven’ ” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 337).

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As we listen and are humble, we will never find ourselves swimming alone.

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