Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
What do you expect out of daily life? Frustration, disappointment, discouragement? Is there a reliable way to find solutions to problems?
A wise person once said, "As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he." That's from the Holy Bible (Proverbs 23:7). This thought was expanded on by Christ Jesus, who spoke of the kingdom of heaven, harmonious existence, as within us-within consciousness (see Luke 17:21). This is where solutions to our problems lie. It's reassuring to know these solutions are never outside us, but within thought!
We can always control our own thoughts. It's important to realize that we experience the results of our thinking and expectation about any situation. If we accept bad results as inevitable, we can expect to experience such effects.
But we do have a choice. Instead of being hapless pawns of fate, we can decide to claim the heritage given of God to each and every one of us. It's a heritage of dominion, not subjugation. When God created us, He endowed us with power and ability that express His omnipotence. "For with God nothing shall be impossible" says the book of Luke (1:37).
You can choose to see yourself, not as created with flaws, but rather as created in the image of God, as shown in the first chapter of Genesis. You either choose to think of yourself as one created from "the dust of the ground," subject to evil, or as one created to reflect God, good, with dominion over evil by birthright.
You may ask, "How can I choose?" Christian Science shows that it is through prayer that this is possible-prayer to a loving God, ever at hand, not only able but willing to help you. Never a remote, reluctant deity who must be approached with groveling petition, God is attentive to our desires to understand Him.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote of prayer in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "In order to pray aright, we must enter into the closet and shut the door. . . . In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God's allness" (p. 15). The book also says later on, "There is but one way to heaven, harmony, and Christ in divine Science shows us this way. It is to know no other reality-to have no other consciousness of life-than good, God and His reflection, and to rise superior to the so-called pain and pleasure of the senses" (p. 242). This points to the transformation of thought spoken of earlier.
A central theme of the Bible is of God's love for us-that He is All and that He is good. Learning of God, I've come to approach any troubling situation by denying credibility to what is evil, on the basis of the fact that God could not have caused it. We can exercise control over our thoughts. We can immediately know that if something isn't good, it isn't real, because only what God made can be real. The Bible reveals this.
I remember a time of prayer when my daughter was young. Shortly after she had returned home from playing with a neighbor's child, I received a call from the girl's mother, telling me that her child had come down with chickenpox. She added, "And you know what you can expect!" My first thought was, "I can expect only good." Two verses from the ninety-first Psalm came to my thought: "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. . . . There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling" (1, 10). I knew our real dwelling-my daughter's and mine-was in the love of God. This "secret place" was within us, in consciousness. In that dwelling, no fear of contagion could enter. I had God's promise, which was fulfilled. My daughter did not manifest any symptoms of chickenpox.
"Choose you this day whom ye will serve," says the Bible, "but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15). When we see the results of choosing to follow God, we happily make this our way of life.
Articles and features on Christian Science appear in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.