Wednesday, July 2, 2008

If I only had only paragraph to pray with...

This week we beging the cycle of Bible lesson topics again. Starting with 'God' we repeat the 26 topics Mrs. Eddy established through to 'Christian Science'. This has been going on for over 100 years but each of the lessons is unique. Anyone choosing to read and study them, over time, becomes familiar with the main Bible characters and their qualities. I think this is also true of Science and Health. We become familiar with some of the most powerful and practical truths in it. But they are never just 'same old, same old'. Quite the opposite. When a familiar passage comes up in the lesson, either in the Bible or Science and Healath, if I find myself tempted to just zoom over it, I know that what I really need to do is look at it with fresh eyes, know that I will find fresh inspiration from it this week, expect to get new insights.

If I only had one paragraph to pray with I suppose it would be the one on page 495 of the textbook. It is like a mini treatment and includes all the elements of prayer that lead to healing and spiritual growth. So this week I will share some thoughts as I spend time with it, one sentence per day. This is how it begins: "When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea."

We are tempted all day long with pictures of sickness, suggestions of sin, illusions that claim something is present that God did not create. The Bible begins with His creation complete and perfect, God seeing everything, everything that He had made, as very good. Everything. Every person, place and thing as very good. Anything presenting itself as something other than good is not part of that creation. Since God fills all space, for all time, there is nowhere for such a thing to exist. So it is not real, it is an illusion claiming to be real. It has absolutely no power or reality unless we choose to believe in it. And the minute we recognize it for what it is, it loses even that illusion of power or reality. It just disappears into nothingness. Immediately. And what had been true all along stands revealed, perfect, completely unaffected by the lie. It was never touched or changed, it was never in pain, or lacking, or unhappy, or confused. It was always very good. Only the illusion was experiencing those things. But in reality they were never present at all.

That 'serpent', that wound itself around the tree in the garden of Eden, spoke to Eve. There were no problems until she listened to what it had to say. And argued with it. And then did what it wanted her to do. But God never created a talking serpent, it was just an illusion. It only had the power to suggest, it couldn't make her disobey or believe in it. And it can't do that to anyone else either. You never had to be controlled by the suggestions of evil or error. It has no real power behind it. It can't inforce anything it says.

So how do you deal with it? Ignore it? No! Turning your back on it does not make it less real to you. Face it and see that it is nothing, just an illusion, just the water that appears to be on the road on a sunny day. It 's not really there. No matter how real it appears to be. You can't go over and touch it. Don't be fooled. Cling. Remain attached. Be like the barnacle. Nothing can loose you or dislodge you from your oneness with God, good. No power on earth. Be steadfast in understanding that. Think of God as divine Mind, all-knowing. And what Mind is knowing is the order and perfection of His creation, including you. You are an idea that divine Mind is holding intact and complete. There is nothing within that idea that is harmful, hurtful or lacking.

There's much more to the paragraph. I can hardly wait to share more tomorrow.

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