Continued from the previous two days…
So, I’m writing about not accepting whatever society dishes up for us to consume…
Jesus Christ taught, “Watch!” A command which I translate to mean, “Watch for the good! Stay spiritually alert. Remain spiritually minded. Stay aware of your spiritual individuality made in the divine likeness. Keep your mental eyes wide open to spiritual truth and you will not be victimized by evil suggestions that want to deny God’s goodness at work in your life.”
Watch for the good! Accept only what comes from God.
When sitting in front of too much food for reasonable consumption, yet hearing in the background of thought, “You should eat all this,” I defend myself spiritually from overeating by knowing that I have everything I need coming from God to be happy, satisfied and content. I don’t need to eat extra food just because someone served it to me, I try to remember. This truth helps moderate human appetite and settle one into a routine that is not gluttonous or gastronomically harmful.
The same rule can work in any situation where we are served undesirable portions of fear, worry, anger, or temptation to err. If the “serving” is not coming from God, we don’t have to accept it. We can leave it untouched by our fork. Don’t dig in!
Because of our unbreakable relationship to God, good is constantly coming our way to be welcomed, embraced, accepted, lived out and expressed. Like tuning into the television station you want to watch, one needs to keep their mental antenna tuned into God’s goodness. When we do, the rewards are immense. We are not so tempted to take in whatever the fears of the world want to impose upon us. Our understanding of truth will consciously and unconsciously resist evil suggestions and protect us from their intent.
So, as you go through your day, you might start to notice how many helpings of error are put before you with the expectation that you are to dig in and consume it. Other people’s fears, prophecies of suffering, warnings, threats, health concerns, hereditary beliefs, economic worries, internal angst, and more, are all helpings of evil you don’t have to accept. Put them off and refuse to take them in.
Just because it’s put in front of you, doesn’t mean you have to consume it!
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Continued from the previous two days…
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
So, I’m sitting at this Italian restaurant staring at this casserole sized portion of Lasagna the waiter just put in front of me. It’s enough food to feed three to four people, in my estimation. I glance around the dining room and see others receiving humongous portions of food too. Some of the customer’s eyes get super wide with amazement just like mine did, and others are perfectly delighted to have so much food to eat.
I repeat to myself, “I’m a spiritually satisfied man who doesn’t need to eat all this food.” And I find peace about the gigantic serving fully confident ahead of time that I will not eat more than I need.
But while enjoying my meal, I start to think about other kinds of “servings” offered up in life that we need to be equally alert to and not indulge in just because someone gives it to us, similar to the waiter plunking too much food in front of me.
For example, when a doctor dishes up a foreboding health report to a patient, or the media dishes up reasons to fear the flu coming to town, or political pundits spew out dire prophecies and predictions that get their constituencies riled up in anger and resentment, or unseen mental forces cast a pale of haziness or depression over individual or collective thought. And on and on….
The same rule applies, I affirmed, that I use to keep gluttony at bay at the table, “Just because it’s served doesn’t mean it has to be taken in.”
In the same way that I refuse to take in the aggressive suggestion of "All this food is here for you to eat," I have to make conscious decisions to not take in other “dishes” that agents of society serve up that are not in my best interest to accept, like the dire prediction, the fear-based reasoning, and dark impressions of thought.
The dire medical prediction must be instantly rebutted, rebuked and adamantly put off. Fear of contagion, likewise. And heated political debates pouring over the airwaves need to be tempered with open mindedness, compassion, forgiveness, consideration and respect.
Society does not always serve us what is in our best interest to receive. To defend oneself from harm and preserve health and well being, a spiritual defense needs to be in place that wards off the aggressive suggestions that would pull our thinking in a harmful direction.
Jesus Christ taught, “Watch!” …this is getting too long, so more tomorrow…
Monday, March 29, 2010
While lecturing in the Clearwater, Largo region of Florida last week, I ate out for dinner one evening at an Italian restaurant near my hotel. Lasagna is one of my favorite dishes, and very time consuming to make at home, so I order it while traveling.
When the waiter brought my dish my eyes bugged out because the platter of food was so huge! It was enough noodles, meat and cheese to feed my entire family, and have leftovers to spare.
Huge portion sizes served at restaurants is nothing new. The growing mounds of food placed in front of customers for consumption has been increasing for years, and it doesn’t seem like anyone minds. I suppose customers want it or restaurants wouldn’t keep serving it.
But I don’t like it! Yet, I have to deal with it, because I eat out frequently while on the road.
I’ve found I cannot be passive about the large portions of food served, or I eat too much.
I have a number of ways of exercising discipline over eating more than I need, but one truth that has helped me immensely is, “Just because they serve it, doesn’t mean you have to eat it.”
I was raised in a home where food did not go to waste. Nothing went to waste. We couldn’t afford to waste food or any other resource! The routine of eating what was on our plate was so ingrained into my behavior that it has required conscious mental discipline to say “No, I don’t have to eat all this food,” when served too much at restaurants or a neighbor’s home.
We’re always dealing with thoughts. Material conditions are material beliefs expressed. So, when a huge mound of food is served, there is an underlying suggestion, and often aggressive, that says, “You should eat all this food I’m serving you. It was prepared for you.” And if one is not alert, he or she will listen to that suggestion and eat more than is appropriate.
So, it takes alertness to not take in mental suggestions that distorts one’s normal eating patterns. And one argument I consciously use is, “You don’t have to eat everything you are served. You are a spiritually content child of God. Leave the extra."
So, I’ve gotten pretty good at staying spiritually alert and not eating too much when traveling, but…and there’s a whole lot more I want to say here…so continued tomorrow…
Friday, March 26, 2010
Here's a unique approach to fighting bribery. It was a new concept on me!
You might find the moral implications of this short article fascinating...
"Fighting corruption in India: A zero contribution"
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I often marvel at how good people are when I travel and have occasion to do a lot of people watching. Not that I sit around and watch others, but venturing through countless airports, waiting in many different types of lines, sitting on planes and driving through busy cities, thousands of people cross my path. And most of them are really nice individuals!
From a waiting area in an airport, I can see the new young dad with toddlers in tow doing his best to keep little hands out of trouble, and expressing all kinds of tenderness, love and care that he probably would never admit to on a football field. I can watch the late traveler rushing to his next plane cut in front of a pedestrian and run his roller suitcase over the other guy’s toe, but no complaint is voiced. I can be standing in a long line at security, and a late-comer rushes up about to miss his plane, and people will let him cut in front without protest or comment. I can see people strolling through the terminals with a look of contentment on their face, thinking happily about something pleasant in their life. I can see huge amounts of patience and understanding expressed when planes are late or cancelled. I can find good qualities all over the place when I look for them. They are abundant and gratifying to witness. They are evidence of mankind’s innate goodness shining through.
These expressed graces are not noisy. They don’t stand up and say “Look at me!” They are humble happenings, quietly done, barely noticeable if you aren’t paying attention or the immediate recipient of their goodwill. And this is the irony. Complaining attitudes often do get all the attention. They are loud, noisy, contentious, unpleasant to be around, and so authorities work to quiet the trouble down and end the dispute. Because of the intensity of discord, it can get to feel like everyone is that way.
The preponderance of negative views of humanity in the media doesn’t help. It skews the public perception of one’s neighbor in general. When you hear day after day about in-fighting and bitter partisanship in Washington D.C., endless reports of murders, robberies, and crime, and the employee at work that makes office life difficult for everyone else, these impressions occupy a preponderance of attention in thought and cast an impression that the world is filled with people who are hard to get along with. But it’s not true. People in general, are basically very good to the core of their being. And everyone has good qualities in them.
People care. They want to aid others in need. They will stop what they’re doing and volunteer help in times of difficulty. They do act unselfishly. They smile. They extend a helping hand. They engage in acts of kindness. They give others the benefit of the doubt. They laugh when they might complain. They are patient and will keep to themselves when a complainer might outburst a protest. People generally understand what is required for society to function as a harmonious unit. That’s why thousands can drive home in rush hour traffic and make it home intact. That’s why hundreds can jam sidewalks walking to and fro with little incident.
There are certainly exceptions in our communities and in the world, and some observers believe civility is on the decline, but the more I learn how good God created each of us, the easier it is to see that goodness in others. It’s evident all around when one looks.
Maybe we all need to look more...
Have you been looking recently? Is it easy for you to see goodness in others?
Monday, March 22, 2010
Every morning my family reads a section from the Christian Science Bible lesson out loud before our son heads off to school.
One morning last week I was reading the Science and Health part of the section, and when I got done, realized I hadn’t paid attention to a single idea on the page. I read the words, very nicely I believe, but hadn’t gotten any significance out of them.
I jolted awake and rebuked my mental sleepiness with, “I read without meaning. That’s bad!”
It was a simple enough error to correct, but later I began to wonder how much of human life is lived without meaning in the same way.
Have you ever walked through your day going through the motions, fulfilling your appointed tasks, doing your designated jobs, smiling now and then, then came home, ate dinner, idled around, went to bed, and ended the day as if it didn’t really matter? And maybe not for a whole day, but for a portion of the day, when minutes and hours ticked away with no real meaning being felt and experienced? If so, this is what I mean by living without purpose. It’s like reading words without paying attention to their meaning. It becomes an empty task with no results to show afterward.
To experience the best life has to offer, we must live for a purpose. We need to find meaning in what we do, or more appropriately, live with meaning in the first place.
Life is God, very good, full of worth, value, purpose and significance. It is not experienced in mindless motion or empty acts. It is found in all of God’s creation, in the flowers and the trees, in a neighbor’s good acts and honest deeds. It is the spiritual goodness we live, the love we express, the joy we share. It’s an activity. And it requires mental participation on our part in the form of active thought, reason, query and questioning.
A computer switched to off is not going to do any computing.
God has designed Life to be progressive, positive, productive, brilliant, happy, healthy and purpose-filled. Life it accordingly!
Don’t let another minute go by without meaning.
Like reading words with interest to get their meaning, live life with interest to get its meaning and gain something worthwhile for the effort.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I do a lot of the talking, well, writing! on this blog. But I love to read what you are thinking and have to say. And here’s an issue that has been puzzling me a bit recently…
First, we had the fall of Tiger Woods with the revelations of his girl friends on the side. Tiger was a personality that appeared squeaky clean, highly admired, looked up to by tens of millions of people around the world and seemingly above all the mire and morass so many other famous figures often get tripped up by. But then trouble happened for Tiger too. His ability to earn hundreds of millions of dollars for this highly polished image vanished overnight. I’m not picking on Tiger. As many have argued, he’s human like the rest of us. And that’s not my point really. He has legitimately inspired thousands of golfers with new possibilities for their game.
What caught my attention was when Toyota suddenly went from a similar position Tiger had occupied in the public’s mind of a highly respected institution to suddenly being assaulted with relentless bad publicity. With Tiger, it was about unfaithfulness in his marriage. With Toyota, well, it was about unfaithfulness too…in the corporate giant’s case, of failure to fix its faulty gas pedals before dozens of drivers died from cars speeding out of control.
Two monumental giants fallen from grace overnight and near the same time.
What is going on here? What is the spiritual lesson? Will another giant fall soon, or can a moral/spiritual lesson be learned to prevent it?
Is it about valuing faithfulness, faithfulness to one’s wife, to one’s customers…?
Is it about the public not putting people up on impossible pedestals to maintain in the first place?
Is it about more transparent honesty and integrity?
What is the larger lesson for society? For you and me…?
I’m curious what you have to say.
What do you think? Or have you thought about it?
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
At a lecture I gave recently, an attendee bounced up to speak with me afterward. He wanted to share a recent healing he witnessed, two actually.
He said that he was having a lot of pain in his shoulder. A friend called with the same problem and asked him to pray for him. In the spirit of brotherly love and wanting to help, he agreed to give the friend Christian Science treatment for the trouble.
After he gave his treatment his friend called and thanked him for a complete healing. After hanging up the phone, the man who did the praying realized his shoulder pain was all gone too!
There are many spiritual lessons in this experience. I’ve had many similar ones myself over the years. I might be struggling with a pain or trouble and the phone rings with someone asking for prayerful help on the other end. I agree to help, and in the act of helping forget all about my own belief. Healing happens for both of us.
People mistakenly think they have to heal all their own problems before they can help others. This is not true. In the act of helping others we help ourselves. It’s the law of love being reflected in love. The love we bear witness to for our neighbor, we bear witness to for ourselves, and both are blessed.
From experience, I’m a believer that the more we are engaged with helping others and the less we are thinking about ourselves the healthier and happier we are.
Self-concern, self-consciousness, self-worry, and their kin, are all mortal mind absorption with life in mortality, a sensation foreign to feeling close to God. It is a lonely place to be, often fraught with misery, and the way out is to get out by thinking broader, higher and wider, into the realm of Spirit where we find perfect God and perfect man, a reality that knows no trouble for those prayed for or for those who do the praying.
“The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother's need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another's good.” Mary Baker Eddy
Monday, March 15, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
I chuckled when I read this story for it reasonated with me as true in so many ways.
Some guy bought a new fridge for his house.
To get rid of his old fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying: "Free to good home. You want it, you take it."
For three days the fridge sat there without even one person looking twice at it.
He eventually decided that people were too untrusting of this deal. It looked to good to be true, so he changed the sign to read: "Fridge for sale $50."
The next day someone stole it.
And, to counter the jest of the above story--it can't be stolen!!
When there is no commonly accepted standard of value attached to what we offer, society at large sees no value in it. This often happens with new practitioners of Christian Science. If they see their services as having no value and do not charge appropriately for their professional services, society at large typically sees no value in their services either. But once value is identified and understood, suddenly, others see value there too.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
This quote fascinated me when I first read it...
Confusion happens when one is pulled between two competing options. Which way do I go? One asks with trepidation.
When we listen to the voice of wisdom we know which way to go and the path is clear. But if we're listening to God and are also influenced by self-will, self-righteousness, or selfishness, we might get confused because we know what we're supposed to be doing, but resist doing it. The cure is to trust God more and personal wants less.
Aw, yes, the human ego and its limited puny view versus the divine Mind and its expansive infinite perspective. Which are you letting win out today?
Here's another message I enjoyed thinking about...
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I’ve been giving thought to the value and benefit of faithfulness to a healthy happy marriage over the past few weeks.
My wife and I watch a number of movies over time, and many of them script out the trials, tribulations, joys, fears, wants, blessings and woes of men and women looking for love, trying to preserve love or running away from it.
Love seems to be such a hard thing for many people to figure out. It’s an odd twist of mortal mind to make love so complicated at times. It’s not complicated at all, really. Jesus Christ showed us how to do it. It’s all written out in the Sermon on the Mount. But the fact that so many people struggle with how to love means the topic needs to be taken up with compassion and thoughtfulness, and a humble recognition that there is much to learn about it.
And without doubt, one of the qualities that make love work is faithfulness.
When I say faithfulness, though, I’m not talking only about sexual activity. I know many marriages that have had a spouse go astray sexually, but the two work it out, stay together and flourish.
Faithfulness is much more than a physical commitment. It’s a spiritual commitment!
Faithfulness is seeing the child of God in the other and living true to one’s own spiritual individuality. It means thinking true to what God knows to be true about the other and living out what is spiritually true for one’s self.
For instance, if your spouse gets angry, the temptation might be to get angry too, or mad at them for getting angry. But faithfulness goes higher. Faithfulness recognizes the presence of love in the home and knows love always triumphs over anger. Love is patient, calm, composed. Love rides through the storm until the waves die down and the sun appears again. Faithfulness knows enough about the goodness in the other person that it doesn’t get swept away by temporary negative emotion.
Faithfulness in marriage is a spiritual commitment between two people to see the best in each other, to honor the good, to not believe in the evil but to overcome it. Faithfulness is not selfish, self-serving or self-righteous. Faithfulness cares, gives, and extends the helping hand, the warm embrace, the comforting hug. Faithfulness is dependable, reliable, and certain. Faithfulness stands when all else fails.
When I look at marriages that prosper and last for decades, faithfulness is always a present quality in the relationship. Two people have learned, no doubt through trial and error, that honoring the good in one another without fail leads to great reward over the long run.
I am very grateful when my wife recognizes the good in me, even when I am not living up to my potential. It humbles me and reminds me of who I am in God’s image and what I’m capable of being and doing. And likewise, I strive to do the same for her.
Seeing the good in one another is all part of being faithful—seeing what God sees and bringing it out for the benefit of the whole relationship.
When we live faithful to God—to God’s image—we’ll live faithful to our spouse. And both are blessed.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Monday, March 08, 2010
Last Tuesday night, I was in a hotel room on the last night of a five day lecture tour on the west coast of the US. It was a successful tour, but packed for me, and I was ready to return home for some rest.
At 1 a.m., though, I became super ill, nauseous, coming down with something aggressive, and soon I doubted being able to fly home the next morning.
I fought vehemently with my prayers against the claim that I was rapidly going downhill and was going to suffer for a couple of days.
I was aware that I couldn’t get sick because I had another lecture to deliver in Seattle the day after.
In defense of health, I tenaciously clung to the truth that my health was spiritual, permanent, present, and could not be taken from me. I declared out loud that God was in control, that I was not sick, that God was governing me, and not germs, bacteria, virus or any other unwanted foreign intruder. I protested the suffering and pain. I refused to consent to the illness. I struggled to be more adamant with the truth than the error was trying to be with me.
It was a hard battle, but the sharp edge of the illness lifted enough that I was able to stand on my feet and walk a bit. However, I was still weak and mentally fuzzy. To remedy this quickly, I decided I needed to call someone to pray with me. I wanted to call a practitioner, but who to call at 1 a.m. in the morning? Aw, Europe, I thought. Practitioners in Europe were up already since it was morning there.
So I texted a brief message to a practitioner across the Atlantic. I typed, “Are you there? Need help. Sick. Lecturing.” I figured that was enough to get the point across. And it’s about all my fingers could muster at the moment.
I had no energy or poise to stand and wait for a reply, so back to bed I went. As soon as I hit the pillow a huge wave of gratitude swept over me for all those practitioners around the world that were ready to respond when a call came. I was one of those practitioners, but right then, I needed one for me, and that was okay. We’re all here to help each other out.
I didn’t know if she got my text or not, but it didn’t matter. I knew from my own practice experience that often when patients call me for help and don’t get me right away, my practice responds to their call immediately anyway.
I’m always practicing for my patients, so in essence, when they become “my patient,” my practice is automatically reaching out to them and blessing them. It’s the “answer comes before you call,” kind of thing.
And I genuinely felt this way about my call. I didn’t need to hear back. I knew this person was praying and knowing the truth already. I had no doubt that she would want to help me. I had no doubt that God’s love was on the job blessing both of us, practitioner and patient, and that I would not lack.
It was quite an amazing feeling really, one of absolute and complete trust that God was watching out for me.
Tears welled up in my eyes, uncontrollably, in feeling assured that I was cared for and loved and would be healed.
A huge feeling of release occurred within me. It was like, “Evan you don’t have to carry this burden. Evan, don’t take so much upon yourself. Just let it go, release whatever the worry is into God’s hands, and trust the outcome to be good.”
I obeyed. I’m not sure exactly what was bothering me, but it fled instantly. A gigantic feeling of relief swept over me. In three or four minutes, all the nausea, pain and illness evaporated from my body. I fell asleep for four hours. At 5:15 a.m., I awoke strong and tremendously refreshed.
I checked my phone, and there was a short text message from the practitioner that made the night even more special. The text read, “I will pick you up.”
It was a turn of language from the country she lived in, I believe…“I will pick you up.” Another practitioner might say, “I will take your case.” But it was the perfect wording for me.
“I will pick you up.” That was exactly what I needed the hours before, someone to pick me up and help me back on my feet. And that was exactly what I got.
I’m not sure if she got my text before I felt healed or not. She replied about 10 minutes later. But, like I said, I reached out to her practice, and her practice responded. It’s like the woman reaching out through the crowd to touch Jesus’ hem. She was healed. She had total faith that she would be healed, and she was healed because of that faith, just like Jesus told her so later. That’s the way the heart of Love works. When a human heart reaches out to God for help, the great heart of divine Love is there to respond.
Our joint prayers were powerful. The healing was rapid, and I was grateful.
If you’re feeling down and out, the hand of Love is there to pick you up too. Don’t be afraid to ask.
"I will pick you up." Priceless words...
Friday, March 05, 2010
Have you ever had someone unexpectedly come up to your face and verbally rip into your integrity and character, state crude falsities about you, totally mispresent your position, swear up and down words unspeakable, and felt he was doing you and the world a justice? I have.
It happened to me at a lecture recently. The event went very well, from my point of view, anyway. Dozens of people expressed gratitude afterward, and joy and peace was tangibly present in the room. But there was one guy hanging in the back of the line of people greeting me that gave me quite a surprise. When everyone else scattered, he came up to me, leaned into my face, uttered a few things and then ripped into me verbally like I've never heard before.
The fact that he kept his voice somewhat low, was evidence to me that he unconsciously knew he was out of place, but he felt compelled to tell me how wrong he felt I was anyway. He viciously disagreed with my position that spiritual healing was a legitimate form of healthcare. He was absolutely certain that anything a doctor ordered a patient to do should be followed, without exception, and that I was criminal to talk in public about any option that varied from the doctor's opinion.
(I just put what he said much more pleasantly in writing than he verbalized it!)
At first I thought he was mentally unbalanced. But I don't think so, in a conventional sense. He flat out hated what I stood for and could not control his anger and rage about it. He was livid.
There was nothing I could say to him that he would listen to, and I quickly gave up trying. He spoke and left.
I did not get mad or angry at him. That suggestion didn't even cross my mind. And he did not get me stirred up. It was easy for me to let it go emotionally because I knew he was not sizing me up correctly. Spiritual healing is a very legitimate form of healthcare. I've lived it all my life. The benefit of Christian Science was undeniable for me.
But what did not settle quickly for me was how to place the experience in context. What was I to do with it?
Was I to just blow it off? Forget it ever occurred? Pretend like it never happened? I didn't think so. That sounded like putting one's head in the sand and ignoring the warrior-enemy running around with a saber ready to chop your head off at the neck!
I was not afraid of him or anything he said. I knew why I believed what I believed, and did not need to talk him into it. He'd have to work his issues out with God eventually.
I did not seek revenge. I was not looking for a continued argument. I didn't even care to change his mind, necessarily.
So, what was I to gain from the attack?
While waiting in the airport later that afternoon, I found an answer to my prayers in Science and Health.
Eddy wrote, "Never fear the mental malpractitioner, the mental assassin, who, in attempting to rule mankind, tramples upon the divine Principle of metaphysics, for God is the only power."
I had witnessed verbal and mental malpractice toward me bigtime. When you put yourself in the public view as I do when lecturing, you become a target for those who disagree with your message. But in the above passage, Eddy was telling me to never fear the malpractitioner.
That was it! That was the lesson I needed to understand better. Never fear the opposition. Never be afraid of those who hate you, despise you, want to destroy you and stop you. Never cower, never shake or waver, never be intimidated, never lose your courage or confidence. God watches out for you and protects you when you are doing His work. You will be a target out of range.
Fear is the weapon of the terrorist. If there is no fear, the terrorist is helpless. His intents, motives and ways fail because he counts on fear to accomplish his purpose of intimidating his target and getting them to bow to his evil desires.
No fear = no foe to fear. Never fear the malpractitioner.
I started to send loving thoughts the way of this man who voiced so much displeasure against me. I had compassion on him. I prayed that God would open up a door somewhere in his life for him to see the benefits of prayer and the power of love to heal. He was worthy of it. He was a child of God too. The malicious views he held were not of God, but he had an inner core spiritual individuality that was of God and couldn't help but surface someday and replace that mispresentation of truth I had witnessed.
You have to be spiritually tough to survive in the world of spiritual healing, because there are many who do not accept healing through prayer as possible, and want to stop and prevent honest seekers from pursuing that option. And their resistance can get pretty ugly at times. But, don't be afraid! God is on your side. God is the only true power, and any other pretense to power is destined to fall at the feet of divine Love, helpless and totally ineffectual.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
On February 21, my wife and I drove to the St. Louis airport to fly home after an eventful visit with our daughter at college. I handed our itinerary over to the ticket agent at the Delta counter. She looked puzzled and perplexed as she typed and tried to find our reservation. Soon she handed the itinerary back to me and said, "This reservation is for March 21st."
Oh, my goodness. I couldn't believe we had mistakenly booked our return trip a month off. This was not good!!! The agent courteously gave us an 800 number to call, had us step aside, and waved in the next customer.
I called customer service and asked if there was room on the flights we had hoped to be on. He said there wasn't. We'd have to go the next day, and the connections were horrible. Planes were full.
I didn't panic or get upset, although I was not enthused about staying over another day and taking so long to get home.
I stayed on the phone mentally stretching out to Spirit-space for more positive news than I had been hearing.
I knew it was wise to be patient, stay calm, and trust the one Mind to reveal a solution.
No solution was forthcoming except to book flights the next day. There was quiet on the line while the agent worked up a new itinerary.
In my conscious and subconscious prayers, I knew that God was taking care of us, and that even if we had to wait out a day life would go on, we'd stay spiritually productive, and no loss of goodness could occur.
I was still a bit dismayed about the day-delay, though, so didn't give up seeking a way home that evening.
I asked the agent about the chance of boarding through stand-by lists. He said "Slim chance, and if so, only one of us had a chance. The other would have to stay over."
Hmmmm...I continued to listen, and by listen, I mean to God, waiting for an angel message to appear that made a quick efficient trip home possible.
More silence on the line. Typing in the background. Prayer on my end.
Without warning, the agent gasped, "Whoa!! What happened? This never happens!! What's up here?"...and he fussed and analyzed on his end. Soon he blurted to me, "I can't believe it, but seats just appeared on your flights. I'm transferring you over to an issuing agent."
Three minutes later, I had flights for both of us home on the very flights we had originally intended. Four empty seats popped up on the first leg. Exactly two seats, side by side, on the second. We were extremely grateful all the way home.
While sitting comfortably in our seats on the trip home, I queried as to how the healing had happened, and so perfectly, because I didn't have much time to pray about it. It all happened so fast.
I decided that it was God's law of predictable goodness at work in our life. This law was with us like an undercurrent in the ocean. You might not see it on the surface, but it's there causing good things to happen, even when the scene in front looks hopeless.
I'm grateful for that law! God does cause good things to happen, and faith and understanding of God's on-going goodness opens the door to experiencing more and more of it.
Also, I was grateful to see that mistakes can't be held against us. We messed up. It was our fault, not the airline's error, for the date snafu. But the mistake was correctable. And Mind found a way to do it without harm to anyone.
God is good.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
I recently read "The Gospel of Mary of Magdala," by Karen King, which casts Mary of Magdala in a very positive light. She was not a prostitute, by the way!
Several copies of this gospel have been found in different places in ancient lands over the centuries, lending credibility to its authenticity. Much of the text is unreadable, but from what is, some awesome theological teachings are revealed, and they are so awesome to me because they verify what Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her explanations of Christian Science.
For instance, we read in Mary's gospel this discussion between a follower and Jesus,
"...Will matter then be utterly destroyed or not?"
"The Savior replied, 'Every nature, every modeled form, every creature, exists in and with each other. They will dissolve again into their own proper root. For the nature of matter is dissolved into what belongs to its nature. Anyone with two ears able to hear should listen!'"
The "proper root" is the spiritual original. All so-called material things will dissolve and in their place, the original spiritual idea will be revealed.
And then on the topic of sin...
"Then Peter said to him, 'You have been explaining every topic to us; tell us one other thing. What is the sin of the world?'
"The Savior replied, 'There is no such thing as sin; rather you yourselves are what produces sin when you act in accordance with the nature of adultery, which is called 'sin.' For this reason, the Good came among you, pursuing (the good) which belongs to every nature. It will set it within its root."
There is no such thing as sin! Hmmm...much to think on here. Mary Baker Eddy taught the same. Jesus knew what he was talking about, and proved it. It has to be demonstrated, not just mouthed, but nonetheless, it is a fundamental fact of being.
And following the above...
"Then he continued. He said, 'This is why you get sick and die: because you love what deceives you.'"
I found these words quite illuminating. Maybe you will too...
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
When we look through a foggy pane of glass, the view is distorted and unclear.
When we look through a crystal clear piece of glass, the view is clean and precise.
A material point of view is a distorted view. A spiritual view is a plain view.
Divine Science is a clear pane of glass. Physical sense is a cloudy pane of glass.
What pane are you looking through today?
Monday, March 01, 2010
Do you like to have quick healings? I do. They don’t always happen as fast as hoped, but there are several rules to follow that enable rapid healings to occur.
One of those rules is to dismiss the claim of suffering quickly. Don’t examine it, wonder about it, mull over it, argue with it or consider for a micro-second that it is real or worthy of acceptance. Dismiss it promptly.
Two Sunday mornings ago, I woke up feeling fine, but when I started to walk around the house I had an odd limp in my right leg that wouldn’t straighten out. The day before I had spent several hours on a vigorous snowmobile trip in the wilderness. But I could not recall any reason to suffer from the outing. My muscles didn’t hurt. But something was mechanically wrong in my hip, like the bones weren’t lined up right making it impossible to walk correctly.
I wasn’t sure where to focus my prayer.
I remembered Mary Baker Eddy’s statement, “Treat a belief in sickness as you would sin, with sudden dismissal.” This was not a belief of sickness or sin I was struggling with, that I could tell anyway, but of anatomical malfunction, but I figured the rule would work just as well anyway.
So, I dismissed the claim. Like dismissing a class of students and watching them promptly exit the room, I dismissed the belief that something was wrong with my hip or leg or whatever, and that I had God-given freedom to walk with ease and without difficulty. I was a spiritual child of God, immune to hurt or harm of any kind, and that was that.
I put it out of my mind.
After church, I dressed for a 1:00 tennis match, and noticed that I was still hobbling around from this weird limp. “I can’t play tennis,” thought protested. “I can’t even run to a ball!”
I thought back to my earlier dismissal of this claim, and did it again.
Obviously the error had not exited my thought even though I had expected it too. It needed another heartier dismissal that left no room for misinterpretation. A dismissal of error by truth must not leave opportunity for error to decide whether it wants to be dismissed or not. The dismissal needs to be emphatic enough to send error out the exit door of possibility without fuss or resistance.
So, I did it again. I dropped any consideration that there was a reason to suffer. Instead of seeing the claim as a physical problem in my body as that I needed to dismiss, I saw the claim as an attempt to halt my progress as a spiritual thinker, as some sneaky evil at work in the background of consciousness trying to hobble me mentally and physically and prevent freedom of movement in my life and in my healing practice.
I didn’t know what the sneaky culprit was, but I didn’t need to know. Having a sense of its intent was sufficient.
With a definitive declaration of “You don’t belong or exist here in my experience, and I refuse to accept you,” I dismissed the suggestion that I had anything to fear on the tennis court. Off to the club I went without giving the belief another second of attention. I forgot about it, put it out permanently and didn’t look back.
It wasn’t until three days later that I remembered the healing. Evidently on the way to the club, the physical healing occurred, for I played tennis with total ease, joy and freedom, and the limp hasn’t even remotely presented itself since.
I’m grateful for the quick healing and lessons learned.
Bodily suffering may feel physical, but it never is. It’s mental, in mortal mind. It’s a belief entertained, not dismissed. So, don’t be bashful about sending it out if you don’t want it hanging around in your experience. Dismiss the unruly intruder and slam the door shut as it leaves your mental precincts.