Draw near -- kneel down -- look up
The story is told of an American artist who traveled all the way to Copenhagen to see a classic statue by a famous Danish sculptor. When he arrived , he hurried to the place where it stood.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Then a disappointed look came over his face.A little boy standing nearby asked him what was wrong. "Don't you like it?" he said. The artist replied that he didn't. "Well," said the boy, "you're not looking at it the right way. You must come closer, kneel down, and then look up." The American willingly followed each step. He drew near the figure, got down on his knees, and looked up. From this new perspective he could see the glory of the sculpted face.
The story is a reminder that we need to see not only works of art but everything from the right perspective. The clearest perspective can be gained as we come to understand the creator of all -- God -- through prayer.
The Bible says, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." N1 The directions are explicit. We are to move closer to God. How is this accomplished? Through the influence of the Christ, God's transforming spirit in each of us. The Christ gives us the desire and perception to know god. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, exemplifies this in-depth perception in her revelation of God's identity. She writes, "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." n2
n1 James 4:8
n2 Science and Health with key to the Scriptures,m p. 465.
To perceive and draw near to God demands increasingly consistent expression of Him in our thoughts and actions. In proportion as the divine nature is reflected in our nature, fear, pain, disease, and loneliness, which would separate us from God, are dispelled. As we replace false beliefs concerning God and man with truth, we are living the Christ -- drawing closer to God.
And kneeling down does not necessarily mean that we physically lower our bodies as that American artist did. Getting on our "mental knees" symbolizes humility. In humbly turning to God, there is no room for human will or self- righteousness. In praying "Thy will be done" n3 we feel and see the operation of God's law in our lives to adjust every situation and reassert harmony.The first thing the leper did when he came to Jesus for healing was to kneel down. Perhaps the man was showing the Master he recognized the healing power of the everpresent Christ, which Jesus so fully expressed. He knelt in reverence, meekness, and receptivity. Jesus, acting with all the authority of the Christ, spoke to him. The leprosy vanished, and the man was healed.
n3 Matthew 6:10
n4 See Mark 1:40-42
When we humbly reach out to God, infinite Spirit, we will also want to consider the words of the Psalmist, "In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." n5 It is indispensable to our spiritual growth to set our thoughts and prayers heavenward, directly to the Father. When we do so, mortal mind, or the carnal mind (as opposed to the divine Mind, God) doesn't have the opportunity to flood our consciousness with mistaken concepts regarding our true identity. Human experience is largely governed by the direction one's thinking takes, whether good or bad. Christian Science emphasizes the importance of raising one's vision, of lifting thought from a material view of creation to the higher standpoint of spiritual reality. To look down implies despondency, doubt, and discouragement. As we maintain an uplifted attitude, we are ready and able to exercise the power of the Christ over the hypnotic pull of materiality. We want to be steadfast in holding our vision in the right direction -- upward.
n5 Psalms 5:3.
As we draw near, kneel down, and then look spiritually up, we will see the glory of man's true identity depicted by God, a masterpiece indeed! DAILY BIBLE VERSE I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. Job 19:25