Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

I have to admit, it would be disheartening to attack Syria. Why do so many people have to suffer for a few cruel nincompoops who want power over others?

Even if experts are able to confiscate all the chemical weapons from Syria, the root of the problem (nefarious, twisted, gross thinking), is still there.

Sadly, nefarious thinking is everywhere. Oddly, I discovered similarities between my mind and the circumstances on this side of the world.

How often do I let my human ego poison my God-given humility?

How often do politicians gag us with false promises?

How often do religions get sneaky and despicably deadening?

As a freelance writer, when I go get stories, I need to watch and make sure I do so with respect for others, not as if they have little worth.

Humanity has yet to rise above attacking one another, but I do pray for the most peaceful solution to the problem in Syria.

Most of us have heard about how lazy Americans have become. As a news reporter, I’m finding a trend in the opposite direction. Now, it could be because I live in a poorer region, and we have no choice but get back to work or lose your health, your future.

Membership in the local gym steadily increases. And, we have the Catskill Mountain Club blazing trails for hiking.

Last week, the Shavertown Trail opened. I covered the opening ceremony and told myself to hike at least part of the trail. My destination was one mile, to Snake Pond.

The weather was humid and chokingly hot. Thankfully, the trail started in the woods, so shade covered the first quarter mile. But it was steep. I turned onto a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) road and kept walking up following the little round red signs nailed to trees every so often.

I had to sit on a rotten stump to rest. After getting back up and walking some more, I saw a clearing and hoped with all my might the pond would be there. Wrong.

The clearing allowed for the sunshine to weight down my head and after a while I returned to the shade to rest again. Up the trail came a hiker, Anne. She was one of the volunteers who blazed the trail. She told me, “You can do it. I’ve done it 100 times, and it’s always worth it.”

I got back up and fell in behind Anne. Her pace was much slower and wiser than mine.

Sure enough, over the clearing and around the bend was Snake Pond. It was worth it.

Snake Pond on Shavertown Trail in upstate New York

Snake Pond on Shavertown Trail in upstate New York

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”  Gen. 1:31

The knowledge that God made everything good can be difficult to act on. Everyday life experience contradicts that knowledge. Even second-hand experiences contradict the knowledge that God made everything good.

As a former foster parent, I would fail to see good in bad parents. However, when looking into the eyes of a confused unwanted child, the only knowledge that saved our situation was the knowledge that God made everything good.

god is so goodWe’d talk about what was good and how we could tap into it every day. Children are more adaptable than adults so I learned from them.

First lesson: Even though it’s difficult to act on the spiritual truth that goodness is the only reality, we can.

Second lesson: Prayer helps me focus on a good God.

Third lesson: I can’t just sit around in a contemplative life. I must take explicit social actions in which to make a good God a reality.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Every student’s mind should be strongly impressed by divine Science; by an exalted cognizance of the moral, social, and spiritual qualifications requisite for healing, well knowing it to be impossible for error, evil, and hate to accomplish the grand results of Truth and Love.”

Today, in homes and churches, as well as on Twitter and Facebook, Mary Baker Eddy’s words are repeated.

That is, of course, appropriate. Her words are thought provoking and filled with many profound images. Borrowing effectively from Christ Jesus, the apostle Paul, John Wesley, the Declaration of Independence, and Alfred Tennyson’s “Hope, Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier,’” Eddy laboriously called upon citizens of the world to recognize and realize “the healing power of the divine Love in what it has done and is doing for mankind.”

Her words speak clearly over a century. From her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

“Now is the time in which to experience salvation in spirit and in life.”

“My weary hope tries to realize that happy day, when man shall recognize the Science of Christ and love his neighbor as himself.”

But today it is important that we remember not only Eddy’s iconic words, but the period that led to them. It was the 19th century. Sickness was God’s will, Darwin’s theory of evolution was a lightning rod strike to religion, and salvation came after death.

Eddy made herself known, “through her laborious publications,” emphasizing “how much time and toil are still required to establish the stately operations of the [Science of Christ, Love]. She organized a contemporary church and a mass consciousness moved toward advancing deliverance from sickness and evil through divine Love.

love-inspirational-dailyOn the one hand, gone into the dustbin of history are preachers that shriek predestination and damnation, gone are absolutes in science, and gone is the notion that death will bring heaven or hell.

But on the other hand, after 100 years, these issues still are in the forefront of our lives and thoughts. It is no wonder Eddy wrote, “Time and toil are still required to establish the stately operations,” of the power of love.

The late 19th and early 20th century crowd may have shared a sense of history, mission and community when Eddy’s words first were gathered and articulated, but there is more work to be done.

I may not fully understand the dynamics of the thought movement during Eddy’s time, but I do recognize the benefits of knowing I can find a healing Love now. And, instead of repeating Eddy’s words, I need to apply the love in today’s spirit and life.

It’s not over. The work Eddy labored over is unfinished. Time and toil are still required to advance the Science of Christ, Love.

Many people think we are in a post-religious stage, but the legacies of predestination and damnation linger and have thwarted progress in the church Eddy established. Dogma, fear, and suspicion became subtle and systemic. Eddy’s words are confined to repetition.

Divine Love continues its need of expression. We have made progress, but we still have work to do to make Eddy’s weary hope become realized.

 

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