Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Letting Mind Direct

       "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself:  it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."
         (Jeremiah 10:23)

                                           Whether in matters material or ethereal,

                                           We need the wisdom of the one great Mind,

                                           Since none but the all-knowing Father

                                           Can direct our lives aright.

                                           We don't have to go through life hit-or-miss,

                                           And wake up one day to find

                                           Our footsteps have slid,

                                           Not when we seek God's perfect counsel,

                                           The way our blessed Master did.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thinking About Ferguson

        Who can look at the violent scenes in this Missouri town and not feel stirred?  Instead of turning away from the whole picture and thinking, "What can just one person do to help?", there is something you and I can do.
         Our Master said:  "Blessed are the peacemakers:  for they shall be called the children of God."  As Jesus' followers, we have an obligation to help make peace.  And here Christian Science, with its emphasis on the teachings of Christ Jesus, helps us to bring peace to simmering urban problems.

        Finding solutions begins with the individual, with you and me.  Every time we bring harmony to a discordant situation or truly forgive an injustice; every time we love in the face of hate we are doing a very important part in defusing inflamed feelings in the community at large. Why?  Because the world's challenges are the culmination of unresolved individual problems and differences.

        Whatever the causes of society's misunderstandings and quarrels, the antidote is found in conforming to the divine standard brought out by Christ Jesus, who urged upon us the necessity to love one another.  "A fine ideal," someone may be thinking.  "But I'm not sure I can really do this.  I'm not good at dealing with anger and disrepect in others."

        Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "When we realize that there is one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves is unfolded; whereas a belief in many ruling minds hinders man's normal drift toward the one Mind, one God, and leads human thought into opposite channels where selfishness reigns."  (page 269)

        We can do a lot to help promote healing in the world by realizing that there really is only one Mind, which man reflects, and that the traits causing conflict and violence are not part of anyone's genuine, God-created selfhood.  God is completely good and made all.  Remembering that even the worst wrong conduct and hostility do not belong to God's man enables us to look beyond appearances.  This empowers us with the Christly view of man which Jesus had.  And this view defuses inflamed feelings.

        Taking the time each day to pray from the standpoint of only one Mind, and living Christlike love, bring healing power to bear on the fear and anger in our own surroundings.  And through this God-approved action, we contribute solidly to world harmony and peace.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Taking the Risky Out of Travel

        Wherever we happen to go in the world, whether into areas designated as "safe" or "risky", it is important to our peace of mind and freedom of action that we understand what really constitutes our exemption from harm. We can't do this without bringing God into the picture.

        For centuries, people in dangerous situations have turned to the Bible for reassuring promises of God's protecting care.  One of the most comforting and best-loved promises is the first verse of Psalm ninety-one:  "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

        Many derive from this psalm a feeling of comfort and safety.  But in these times of heightened travel risks we need to have more than just a comfortable feeling about our well-being; we need to know beyond a doubt that we can be safe, wherever we happen to go.

        The teachings of Christian Science have been of great help to me and our family in this regard.  Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy points out:  "Understanding the control which Love held over all, Daniel felt safe in the lions' den, and Paul proved the viper to be harmless."  (p. 514)

        The five physical senses tell us that we are subject to the material conditions surrounding us, even to other people who can be put us at risk.  But from the Bible we learn that God, perfect Love, is the one infinite supreme power and that man is the beloved offspring of his Maker, never for a moment separated from God's all-encompassing care.

        Because our true selfhood is inseparable from the almighty Father, there's a very profound sense in which we can say that our safety isn't dependent upon where we are in the world.  Being God's child, you and I are never, for even a second, deprived of our Father's loving care, never out of "the secret place" of spiritual security.  Despite human predictions to the contrary, we can travel any place we need or want to go, aware of always being in God's powerful presence.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Healing Through Christ

        I am convinced that Christian Science is the religion of Christ Jesus, because Jesus has so plainly said, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."  (Mark 16:17, 18)  This my religion makes possible in our day.

        Thank God, healing through Christ is made available to anyone in need of His help.  This is explained fully and clearly in the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science.  The law of Spirit, God, is available for everyone to learn and use in his daily life.

        Many people gain inspiration and comfort from contemplating the human personality of Jesus.  How much better it is, though, to gain a practical understanding of the divine power he expressed.  The purpose of our Master's unequaled example was not merely to inspire mankind but to show us how to be free from every form of material bondage, physical suffering included.

        This is accomplished as one understands the spiritual laws underlying Jesus' words and deeds.  Would you or I expect to succeed in applying the laws of mathematics simply by admiring the professor's personality or even his instruction?  We wouldn't.  In like manner, the changeless Principle of Jesus' healing and teaching has to be learned.

        The first chapter of the Bible states that God created man in His own image and likeness. In accordance with this original, true account of creation, students of Christian Science pray with the understanding that man and the universe are spiritual and perfect, here and now.

        In the measure that one is able to see himself and others in this spiritual likeness, he is employing the Master's method, who healed through spiritual means alone.  Mrs. Eddy writes:  "The physical healing of Christian Science results now as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation."  Then she continues, "Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural."  (Science and Health, p. xi)

        I can't tell you how many times in my life this has been the case for me.  Healing through Christ has been my privilege and joy to experience in countless challenges to health and freedom.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Joblessness and God's Help

        Yesterday's Wall Street Journal had an excellent essay from the Republican nominee for Governor of California, Neel Kashkari.  His title is "Brother, Can You Spare a Job?".  I was impressed to read that this man took to the streets with only $40 in his pocket (no credit cards) and trudged off to find work.  He tried one place after another, but finding no job, ended up having to accept meals from a local shelter and sleep on the street.

        This made me think about joblessness from a spiritual standpoint.  Fortunately, whether one's present need is for work or simply for peace of mind concerning the future, help is at hand.

        Christ Jesus was always conscious of God's tender, loving provision for each of His children.  To teach his hearers of God's goodness, Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son, who left his father's house, wasted all his resources, and then returned in what he thought would be disgrace to his father.  Instead of condemning him, his father welcomed him warmly and said (Luke 15:31):  "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine."

        Through the study of Christian Science and the spiritual understanding it throws upon the Scriptures, one glimpses the fact that man is God's perfect expression, inseparable from divine Love's eternal care. Therefore one sees that man cannot need anything; he already possesses all good. Our function is to show forth God's attributes in continuous, harmonious activity.  This is our real employment, satisfying and secure. It is work totally unaffected by material beliefs of hard times and is never at the mercy of economic cycles or human laws of supply and demand.

        Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 494), "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need."  Many who, through the study of Christian Science, have gained an enlightened understanding of God as tender, unfailing Love, can testify to the truth of this statement.

        My own father was unexpectedly let go from his job at an age generally considered to be too young for retirement but too old for employment with a new firm.  The weeks wore on, and his own efforts to find work were unsuccessful.

        Desperately he looked for help.  My mother, brother, sister and I were all Christian Scientists, and he had witnessed many of our healings over the years.  My mother helped him contact a Christian Science practitioner, who aided him in gaining a better concept of himself as God's beloved child. In their interview the practitioner pointed out man's real being as a spiritual idea of God, divine Mind.  She assured him that he was the recipient of inexhaustible good.  She spoke of his unity with divine Love and told him that as the reflection of God he could not lack anything he needed for happiness, usefulness, satisfaction, and supply.

        As my father listened to the practitioner, his doubt and fear lessened, and he found himself feeling hopeful.  During the days that followed he continued to hold to his understanding of completeness and satisfaction in God and found his thoughts being filled with peace and confidence.  In less than a week's time he located a job that provided happy, rewarding employment.

        Mrs. Eddy writes in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 5), "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."