Prayer - In a World That Doesn't Wait
IN Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, there's a description of the main character, Alice, running with the Queen. . . . in our country,' said Alice, still panting a little, 'you'd generally get to somewhere else--if you ran very fast for a long time as we've been doing.' A slow sort of country!' said the Queen. 'Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!'The hi-tech pace and the desire of our own world to "get somewhere may well be insisting it takes all the running we can do just "to keep in the same place. The world keeps going, and it isn't likely to stop and wait for us. It's also apparent that rushing around often ends in our being farther behind than when we started. What we tend to lose sight of, both as individuals and as a society, is that accomplishing those things so much needing to be done has surprisingly little to do with attempting to follow a worldly pace. What's needed is more moments of genuine love, of inspired immediate and lasting solutions, of practical, healing Christianity. Prayer opens us up to these. Prayer and religion don't have to wait for the appropriate time and circumstance, but they respond to the supremacy of infinite, divine Love. When we're truly willing to let our lives be ordered by Love's care for man, we find we're no longer struggling to keep up an Alice-in-Wonderland pace. Rather, we're responding to and acting upon the spiritual reality in which God's will is done. The reality is that man, made in the image and likeness of Spirit, expresses the harmony and purpose of God, the crea tive Principle of all that truly is. God maintains the pace and function of man's being. But is this really a sufficiently hardheaded approach for the here and now? Will this "religious approach move quickly enough to cope in the "real world? It is the only thing that will. We cannot rely on our own semi-clever, human ability to re- arrange and rehabilitate the world. Christ Jesus' message is that we change our world by seeing more of what God is doing, and we must strive to obey Him in order to experience the kingdom of heaven, which is actually present. On the first page of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity. Contentment with the past and the cold conventionality of materialism are crumbling away. Ignorance of God is no longer the stepping-stone to faith. The only guarantee of obedience is a right apprehension of Him whom to know aright is Life eternal. The issue isn't really one of time but of willingness and humility. Are we willing to set aside the tail-chasing stress and confusion that try to rule our lives? And are we willing instead to be more quick to pray--to watch for and respond spontaneously to the unlimited goodness that God gives? The world urgently needs these clear moments of prayer from a Christianly scientific basis. They bring healing to that which needs healing. They slow the speed of human error; they speed our recognition of wh at God has already done. This is a condensed version of an article that originally appeared in the "Thinking it through column of the August 19 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.