Having What We Need
RECENTLY a television comedy program touched briefly on the issue of "having it all. The show had the viewer wondering whether a successful professional woman could really have the time to care for family as well as business demands.Human life doesn't always present easy answers that enable us to tie things up in a neat little package. Sometimes our lives take an unexpected course, and we find that while we have one thing of value we don't have another. But a human perception of things is inherently limited; it would always have us believe we're missing something. At times it does look as though we're without some vital element--companionship, employment, or whatever. Yet are we looking in the most helpful direction for an answe r? The feeling that we want to but can't "have it all would rivet our attention to a misconception, to the conviction that we're mortals, separated from our creator, struggling to achieve some ideal human arrangement that will then make us fulfilled. Certainly it's appropriate that we have what we need and that our lives unfold in a way that's right for us. Yet the deepest need is to see life--and ourselves--from a higher standpoint. In this regard, Christ Jesus' words "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness take on deeper meaning. Jesus wasn't suggesting that we endure deprivation but that we be clear about the basis of our well-being. A focus on simply gaining what we want humanly turns us away from the recognition that God is the actual source of all that we can really have or be. Spirit, not matter or the manipulation of circumstances, conveys satisfaction. Worshiping Spirit, then, and seeking a better unders tanding of the creator and our relationship to Him are what bring into view the things we need in life. Instead of concerning ourselves with how we can have it all humanly, we might find greater benefit in recognizing what we already are spiritually. Our true selfhood isn't missing anything, because man is God's spiritual image, inseparable from the completeness of his creator. This is practical, provable truth--now. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, "Wholly apart from this mortal dream, this illusion and delusion of sense, Christian Science comes to reveal man as God's image, His idea, coexistent with Him--God giving all and man having all that God gives. Praying from the standpoint of our completeness in God's image--and coming to feel this as solid reality--we'll think less in terms of what we don't have and gain clearer views of what we do have and of who we actually are. We'll see our satisfaction more in relation to the God-derived qualities and abilities we include as His image than as a need for our lives to conform to a preconceived human design. We'll be less inclined to compare our supposed lot in life with someone else's and more inclined to let God's perfect will be expressed in us. None of this is to suggest that we can progress without hard work or that worthwhile human goals shouldn't be pursued. But it does point us away from the false sense of ourselves as mortals, either missing something or willfully forcing it into our lives. Having a good life doesn't mean having all the things that superficial worldly thinking suggests we must have. It means gaining a deeper perception of the spiritual basis of our satisfaction, and living from that standpoint. Then we'll experience more of what God alone can give us right where we are.