ACTIVE! That's the way I'd always liked to be! I always wanted to be doing something. If a task involved building or rebuilding, if it required shaping, forming, cleaning--I loved it. But a renewed commitment to both the lessons in the Bible, especially Christ Jesus' life, and what I was learning from my study of Christian Science made me face squarely the necessity of having more spiritual activity in my daily life.
This is not a put-down to physical activity, of course, which has a useful place in our lives. But spiritual activity is something that should be part of our lives at all times, even while we're doing chores or building and shaping in other ways. And if we put it in the forefront of all that we do, spirituality provides a sure basis that enlivens and invigorates everything we do.
Prayer and thoughtful study of the Bible are tangible activities because they help us learn more of God, divine Spirit, and of spiritual existence. The results of spiritual activity are also tangible even though they might not at first seem concrete in the usual sense. The results of prayer aren't seen as physical things. But they do have substance, and they are real. We know them as spiritual ideas.
These ideas--because they are spiritual--come from God, divine Spirit. A carpenter uses two-by-fours and two-by-sixes to frame a house. God's "building materials, if you will, are eternal, unseen truths. As the Bible says in Hebrews, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
At first it might appear that spiritual activity, as praiseworthy as it is, has little to do with the "realities--bills to pay, people problems, illness. Are there practical spiritual solutions to problems like these? Indeed there are! And our deeper and deeper inquiry into the nature of God as divine Spirit enables us gradually to know ourselves better as man made in God's image. This is the true foundation we need for thinking constructively about real solutions to problems.
Once man's spiritual identity is established in thought, we're prepared to receive the flow of inspiring ideas from God that finally eliminate any problem we face. And it's this activity that enables us to see and understand these spiritual ideas. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says of spiritual ideas in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "These ideas are perfectly real and tangible to spiritual consciousness, and they have this advantage over the objects an d thoughts of material sense,--they are good and eternal. Spiritual ideas form the basis for a completely new vision of man. And it is this concept of man, not the material picture of man, that has true solidity, permanence, and substantiality.
A friend, a builder, has often told me how much he values the spiritual activity that really underlies and supports all else in his work. Once, several years ago, he began neglecting his usual period of morning prayer so that he could get to the job site earlier. Soon, however, he noticed a flatness about his work. He just wasn't seeing solutions to everyday problems as he had in the past. It didn't take him long to see the value of the genuine renewal that prayer provides.
He quickly reestablished his practice of praying first each morning. His level of spiritual activity increased. Soon he was once again thinking of his work in a more inspired way. In the end he accomplished more work in less time.
There should be great joy in any legitimate activity. Such joy is natural, and it's more certain as it stems from the increase of spiritual activity in our lives.