Having Things Under Control

WHEN you hop onto a bicycle, you're ready to go places--to school, to see a friend, do an errand, report for a job, or whatever. You enjoy using the controls built into a bike: the foot pedals for moving; the handlebars for steering; the brakes for stopping. You're in charge of the bike, and that's easy to tell.

What's not always so easy to figure out is: ``What's in charge of me?'' Sometimes it seems as though parents, older brothers or sisters, teachers at school are in charge, and they're all tossing rules, homework, or chores at you. At other times it feels as if there's nobody to turn to when you need help in making a really hard decision. I've felt both ways, so I was really happy to learn that God gives each of us the ability to be in control of our own thinking. That means you're always free to think for yourself. In fact, no one can do your thinking for you.

That's right, you--and all of us--have a natural sense that gives you control over your thoughts. This inner sense of control is spiritual sense. Spiritual sense is what moves us to let God motivate and direct everything we do. Then we know for sure we're going in the right direction.

Spiritual sense has to be recognized and used, of course. After all, having something isn't much good if you don't use it! But when we do use spiritual sense, it puts us in charge of knowing who we really are, because it brings to light our true nature, which is inherently spiritual and good, God-created.

You can see for yourself the effects of understanding this. For example, pay attention to what you're thinking during the day. When you do, you can tell when what you're thinking is good. But what's more important is that you don't have to keep thinking bad thoughts. That's because your God-given spiritual sense enables you to respond with good judgment that rejects anything harmful.

An excellent example of someone responding with good judgment in every situation is Christ Jesus. The Bible shows us that from boyhood he exercised spiritual sense. Luke's Gospel tells us, ``Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man'' (2:52).

What impelled such favorable growth? Jesus' love of God, good, was certainly part of the reason. And his obedience to God was essential also, as Jesus himself made clear when he pointed out, ``I do always those things that please him'' (John 8:29).

Jesus knew God as Spirit, Father, the source of all right thinking and acting. He had an eternal bond with God, the Father of all. So can we. Spiritual sense helps us do this.

Mary Baker Eddy also felt that wonderful closeness to God. Responding to it, she discovered Christian Science, or God's universal spiritual laws, running like golden threads through the Bible and fully embodied in Christ Jesus' life and teachings. Yearning to help others as she had been helped by these laws, she wrote Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In it she counsels, ``Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously'' (p. 392).

Maybe you've taken a few wrong turns and feel things are out of control? You can still apply the brakes by putting yourself in God's hands and letting Him control your life. Then ``stand porter,'' listen to your God-given sense of right. Answers will come. They may not be the ones you expect--sometimes we have to turn completely around and go the other way! But when you follow spiritual sense, the law of good brings together what belongs together. Your desire for good will lead you to happy relationships, show you new talents and opportunities, help you form habits of spiritual obedience, and will show you how to get rid of what is not good and right--the wrong influences, bad habits, fears, and frustrations that can make life seem so out of control.

Then you feel the assurance, self-respect, and love that show you're letting God be in control.

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