NOT long ago I was asked to write a poem for an occasion. It was not to be a comfortably humorous jingle but a real poem with an original concept clearly stated, and with that aura that poems need to bring them to life.
My previous experience had usually been that when someone told me I ought to write a poem about something or other, I found it just about impossible to do so. But this time I really had to do it even though I seemed to be drawing a blank.
My efforts to write the poem were unsuccessful, and I realized it was time to step back and pray--pray for a better understanding of the true source of what appears to be spontaneous or, as people often like to say, ``creative." That is, I needed to view the situation in the light of God's ever-presence and unfailing care of His spiritual reflection, man.
In counseling his disciples about answering authorities who were hostile to their discipleship, Christ Jesus said, according to Luke's Gospel, ``And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: for the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say."
In such a difficult situation, under the frowns of officialdom, the unaided human tendency often is to panic and stammer. But Jesus taught his followers that they were not alone. God was there, and thus all the resources of divine Mind had to be there, available to meet their need. The answers the disciples needed were not lost in fear and confusion, and were not dependent on personal talent. The Apostle Paul also proved this on numerous occasions, speaking boldly and effectively in circumstances that co uld have seemed intimidating.
In comparison, my problem seemed simple. But still I had to reassess where true spontaneity comes from. It is always the gift of divine Mind. Spontaneity is the expression of an always present capacity, property, or power; it is a gift from God expressed humanly. What appears to be a spontaneous discovery or creation is the result of spiritual sense, of opening one's consciousness to the outpouring of ideas from God. These ideas are always present, but we may need to learn to recognize and accept them.
When we are seeking to be spontaneous, we need to disabuse ourselves of the faulty notion that we have personally to generate fresh ideas. All necessary ideas are already created. Our job is to realize our true, spiritual nature and inseparability from God, and to listen for the ideas always at hand and applicable to the situation.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Advancing to a higher plane of action, thought rises from the material sense to the spiritual, from the scholastic to the inspirational, and from the mortal to the immortal. All things are created spiritually. Mind, not matter, is the creator."
Needless to say, as I prayed in this way, the ideas that I needed for my poem came clearly to thought. The project was completed to the satisfaction of all concerned. I have come to see the experience as a simple example of the outpouring of good to man from his divine Parent, whose exactly appropriate ideas are ever present to meet man's need.