Making good use of our time
IT often seems that we don't have the right amount of time. Too little time is a frequent complaint. And on some occasions we may feel that we have too much time and that it could be put to better use--when we have to wait in line at a supermarket checkout, for example, or for some form of transportation. I used to fret and fume on these occasions. Then one day I thought, ``You're always regretting the fact that you don't have time to pray as much as you would like to. Now's your chance!''
Since then, whenever this type of opportunity arises, I've done my best to pray and have had a much happier and more productive time while waiting. My sense of prayer includes a realization of God's presence and of everyone's actual, spiritual nature as His offspring. I strive, then, to know to the best of my ability that God really is All, that He fills all space, that He is the only genuine power, and that He is good. I remember that the Bible tells us He is Love and Life. Then I may remind myself that He made man as the very expression of His perfect nature and that He is eternally caring for man, regardless of what seems to be going on that would deny this fact. Such prayer isn't a naive disregard of reality but an affirmation of reality in its truest, spiritual sense, an affirmation that can improve human life.
When the waiting time is over, I'm feeling serene instead of tense and frustrated, and I have a renewed sense that God, our Father, is caring for each of us, everywhere.
There are many occasions, of course, when we do not seem to have enough time. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, begins her scientific definition of time this way: ``Mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge; matter; error.''1
We don't really want more of that; what we do need is a better realization of what already, in reality, exists now, and so does not need time in order to bring it into being. We read in the Bible: ``Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God...Beloved, now are we the sons of God....''2
So now we inherit from our Father all His qualities--love, joy, integrity, intelligence, health. There is no waiting time involved. We can make use of this truth in our daily lives.
One morning a teacher had to mark some examination papers and hoped to finish them, with much diligent effort, by the end of the afternoon. Suddenly she found that the results were needed by midday. Turning to God as the source of all intelligence, she began the work, frequently reminding herself of the presence of divine wisdom as she progressed. To her amazement and joy, the work was complete in two hours. A small example, but it illustrates the omnipresence of God's wisdom.
Quite a bit of thought-time is available to many people when they are doing repetitive tasks, or traveling, even when eating! Here are opportunities for either constructive thought, even spiritual inspiration, or negative rumination. Sometimes regrets about the past sabotage the present. Realizing the continuity of God's goodness and the spiritual reality of man as always in His care, we can find healing of regrets and of the errors that may have prompted them.
When I used to hear someone say, ``in a year's time,'' I used to think fearfully, ``I wonder what will have happened by then.'' Now I know what always will be going on: God, Love, will be caring for His beloved children; He will be all good, everywhere; He will be, as always, allpowerful and expressing wisdom and intelligence in His offspring, man. So we can safely trust our well-being in time to come to God's loving, omnipotent care. Christ Jesus' teachings and example give full support to this trust.
It may take considerable effort and perseverance to keep thought on the lines of these truths, because circumstances may take thought off in other directions. But the desire to know God better, and to do His will, and to prove in some degree that good is the perpetual reality of His creation will ensure wise and happy use of our time.
1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 595. 2I John 3:1, 2. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Pray without ceasing. I Thessalonians 5:17