Dominion over troubling mental images
A Christian Science perspective: Moving beyond the mental preoccupation with accidents.
Have you ever found yourself mentally preoccupied about accidents? I have. It can seem almost paralyzing at times to be bombarded by what feel like uncontrollable thoughts of danger. However, I have found that we are not bound to such thoughts and images. My study of the Bible and of Christian Science has helped me see that we are each given “dominion ... over all the earth” (Genesis 1:26). We also have dominion over anything that tries to go against the assertion that what God created was “very good” (Genesis 1:31), and this includes having dominion over discordant thoughts.
I had an example of this years ago. I was riding my bike on a relatively quiet road, when I needed to make a turn at a complicated intersection involving merging traffic from a major highway. While I initially thought I had enough time to turn, I quickly realized that I had miscalculated how fast a group of cars was coming. As I was crossing their path, one car clipped the rear wheel of my bike, which threw me into the air and pulled my bike under the car. Despite their speed, all of the other cars came to an orderly stop as I landed on the road in front of them. At that moment I felt so profoundly grateful for not being injured. It made me feel enveloped in God’s love. I got up and was able to reassure the driver, who was very concerned, that I was unhurt. He kindly loaded my bike into his car and drove me home. The other drivers peacefully waited until we cleared everything away.
After I got home, however, I started to have mental reruns of what had happened. I even became preoccupied by dramatic thoughts of what could have happened. I became so impressed with the experience that I started telling my friends about what happened to gain their sympathy. Very shortly thereafter, though, I realized how reliving the incident in conversation was feeding the fire of fear – for myself and others. So I started to pray.
I began in my prayers with what I knew of God’s spiritual creation. I was learning that as God's children we each inherit His goodness, including peace, at all times and in all ways – not good until a certain point, not good when something happens, but good now and always. I recognized that God’s love is what truly governs me and my thinking. This enabled me to take a stand against fearful, ruminating, or speculative thoughts. As God’s beloved child, I was always loved and cared for by God. With that realization, I was totally free from any lingering anxiety. After I got my bike repaired, I happily went bike riding again with a renewed sense of God’s loving care and control over all.
We can, through divine Love, “[cast] down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and [bring] into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5). The founder of this publication, Mary Baker Eddy, describes Christ as “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (“Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 332). Christ Jesus exemplified this in his daily life, even walking through angry crowds determined to destroy him (see Luke 4:28-30). In our own lives, we can choose to turn away from fearful speculative thinking, and, instead, listen to the “still small voice” of God, infinite Love (I Kings 19:12). As we do, we start to see more evidence of His loving and intelligent care all around us.
We all have the ability to hear that same voice of divine Love, which brings peace to every heart and quells every fear. No matter what we see, or hear, or experience, we can turn our thoughts to the fact that the goodness of God, divine Love, is what is real and has the power to govern His creation.