Spectators

NO one has to be a spectator in his own life. The Bible itself makes that clear. This book isn't the work of detached academicians, either, but rather records real people working out the stiff challenges of their individual lives through discovering and expressing their relationship to God.

The Bible is full of activity and action. It contains the stories of people who, when faced with danger and loss--and the fear that they were powerless to do anything about them--resisted these conditions through prayer and faith in God's presence and power. They weren't spectators. They were active in bearing witness to God's ability to deliver them.

The familiar story of David and Goliath is a good example. If you had watched this gargantuan soldier, Goliath, striding forth, bellowing out his challenge, would you have volunteered to confront him? David did. He even ran toward the encounter. Apparently, he had none of the spectator in him! Yet, he wasn't reckless. He had been prepared by his earlier trust in God. The Bible records in I Samuel that David told those questioning his fitness: ``Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: and I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth." Then David went on to say why he was so confident. ``The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine."

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To grow from a spectator in our lives to a real participant, we might well need a better understanding of ``the Lord" that David speaks about. This is God, infinite Spirit, who is at once the source, center, and circumference of all being. God is the source of all genuine activity. And when we recognize that we, as His creation, man, reflect our activity from Him, we can no longer remain passive spectators in our own lives.

The Founder of the Christian Science Church, Mary Baker Eddy, speaks often of the love of God for man and of His action in the life of man. In describing the word good in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy includes the term omni-action. She says good is ``God; Spirit; omnipotence; omniscience; omnipresence; omni-action." Keeping in mind this definition of good as God, we can see that God is the source of activity for all that He creates. That, of course, includes man.

Since God is divine Spirit, the activity He creates is spiritual and is in spiritual terms. So the activity man reflects must also be perceived in spiritual terms. Much of what we see around us may not look very spiritual. But the Bible shows how God, divine Spirit, still reaches and embraces our lives. And we feel and understand this spiritual impetus in ways that are meaningful to us in our day-to-day living.

We see the effect of His power in the deep, spiritually drawn sentiments that uplift our lives--in affection, wisdom, compassion, energy, vision, resourcefulness, empathy, and so forth. It is these spiritually derived qualities that are the real doers in our lives. When we look to God as the very source of our living, we feel a strong energy for good in all that we do. Again, Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health, ``God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising hi gher and higher from a boundless basis."

Understanding that God is the source of genuine action can make us come alive mentally. It can cause us to wake up--if that's needed--and reach out for the love and wisdom that God provides. This enables us to take the right actions in our lives, actions that take us from the spectator's sidelines to center field. This is where we should be--where our lives really make a difference.

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