Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

daffodils.2Spring comes late here in upstate New York. Buds on the trees are just now swelling, however daffodils are in full bloom. The bright yellow daffodils grab my attention from the drab brown surroundings of leafless trees and bushes.

The whole scene enlarges my concept of the “senses.”

I generally assume “senses” mean what I feel, see, hear, touch, and know, but realize this is a rather narrow view. In other words, my sense of pleasure or pain is excruciatingly limited. It’s almost laughable.

It rarely occurs to me that plants have sense. But, obviously they have enough sense to know not to bloom in January in New York.

Plants and flowers even have the sense to turn to the sunlight. Moreover, my cats sense sunlight and are constantly found lounging around in it. This all shows a bigger sense. I could call it a universal sense of gratitude for life eternal.

This knowledge is added to the fact that I know my senses are temporal. What I feel this moment can change in another moment. Fortunately, Christian Science has taught me that I’d only be going in circles if I tried to manipulate or control those senses. The key is to break the barriers of the senses and discover Soul-sense.

Even yesterday, while outside for over an hour, I got rained on, hailed on, and heard and watched the deep crack-pop of a tree being pushed to the ground by the wind. I realized the reality of my own senses of these happenings was small next to the reality of a greater sense that occupies the universe. My sense of gratitude overwhelmed my physical senses and I enjoyed the time outside.

From 21st Century Science and Health:

“Instead of possessing our own sentient form, we reflect Soul-sense. God, the Soul of all existence, being perpetual in individuality, harmony, and spirituality, imparts and preserves harmony and spirituality in us— through Mind, not matter/energy. The only excuse for entertaining human opinions and rejecting the Science of being is our unawareness of Spirit—ignorance which vanishes as divine metaphysical Science is understood. Through spiritual understanding, we enter the universe of Truth on earth and learn that Spirit is infinite and supreme. Divine Mind and human mind do not join any more than the colors white and black join. When one appears, the other disappears.

“Human pleasures and pains which come through mortal consciousness perish. They can’t withstand the force of Truth. They can’t withstand spiritual sense and the actuality of being. As people lose all satisfaction in error and in idle thinking, they find satisfaction in Soul-sense.

“Whether mortals learn of Soul-sense sooner or later depends on the tenacity of mistaken mindsets. Until we learn of Soul-sense, we suffer from attachment to material based pleasures and pains.”

 

Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, usually in spring. Dates vary from country to country and this year’s Mother’s Day in the United States falls on May 11.

Americans will spend an average of $162.94 on mom this year, down from a survey high of $168.94 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $19.9 billion. But, I don’t want to write about brunch, bouquets, and bling.

I met up with mothers in many forms and discovered an array of motherly advice worth cursor movement.

First were foster mothers. Gina, Claudia, and Vicki all live in different towns yet network to provide the best care for children of the State. They provide respite care. I could write pages about their experiences, but will reduce it to a list of that which struck me most:

  • Success is overcoming a challenge.
  • Children are full of life.
  • I can’t imagine life without children.
  • We can make a permanent decision in a temporary situation.
  • Consistency is the best medicine for children.
  • Following through on the State rules and regulation is a small price to pay for the reward and satisfaction of improving a life.
  • Don’t respond to a temporary action but have the faith to see a deeper answer.

I also met case workers and support staff for foster homes who also expressed the same motherly qualities that shone so attractively in the foster mothers. The mothering I found in the community far outdid the monetary statistics in impressiveness.

From Proverbs 31, ESV: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed.”

 

 

 

By time you read this sentence, everything around you has changed. The earth has moved. You have new cells in your body. Clouds have shifted. Grass has grown. Birth and death has occurred.

This changeable human life experience is thrilling, mind-boggling, nauseating, and rampant. The questions and answers that bombard our minds need to be filtered.

Dialogue in 21st Century Science and Health filters out questions and answers that soothe the soul, guide the mind, and feed the body.

The prose is circular, but it circles a mindful, loving, healing God. You can start reading on page one, or page three hundred and twenty-two, or page fifty-seven. You can read a heady sentence such as, “The beautiful, whole, and pure constitute our ancestry,” and think about it for hours, days, or years.

This is a book for truth seekers and practitioners.

 

New York State is clamping down on drivers who use mobile devices while driving. Statistics show that distracted driving makes for dangerous situations and terrible accidents.

With technology at our finger tips, human beings have become so acclimated to instantaneous communication that our bodies automatically react to answer the cell-phone, text a message, or look at the news flash passing over the iPAD.

The behavior all seems like a new problem. But it’s not.

Distraction is an old, old problem for humanity.

What distracts?

Fear, anger, jealousy, pride, impatience, morbid curiosity, obsessions, hate, need I go on?

I can picture my mom and dad, moving the family from the east coast to the west coast. Driving in a car with 3 toddlers floating around. No seat belts. Not many McDonald’s along the way, if any.  Changing diapers, breast feeding, making sandwiches all while driving.

And, my ancestors before that were probably riding their horses around the country, vulnerable to the distractions of bears and weather and hunger.

We read in the Gospel, “Martha was distracted with much serving,” at a time when Jesus came to visit the home and she was working in the kitchen. Martha even asks, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” (Luke 10:40)

Jesus’ answer to Martha helps us learn how to un-distract ourselves. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Seeking Christ, as Mary sought Christ, is seeking awareness, patience, acumen, integrity, and generosity, all qualities we can manifest while driving.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Every step toward spirituality is a departure from materiality and is a tendency toward God, Spirit. Material theories partially paralyze this attraction toward infinite and eternal good by a distraction to the measurable, flamboyant, and chaotic.”