Stoplights and The Lord's Prayer

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Not long ago, I realized that my fuse was growing shorter. I was becoming impatient at some of the slightest things (and I wasn't enjoying it!). One of the things that bugged me most was having a traffic signal turn red just as I was approaching it. The wait for the green signal seemed to grow longer as my patience grew shorter.

I knew this wasn't normal. The creator made me perfect, not subject to inharmonies of any sort. But here I was, fuming over something so insignificant.

One day, as I was waiting impatiently for a green light, this thought came to me: "Why not say the Lord's Prayer to myself?" (see Matthew 6:9-13). I said it, including an interpretation of it that was written by Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper (see Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 16-17). The first line of the Lord's Prayer says, "Our Father which art in heaven." And the spiritual interpretation of it says, "Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious."

As I thought about the prayer, my frustration and impatience began to abate. I was reminding myself of something I had learned from studying Christian Science, which Mrs. Eddy discovered: God, the only creator, provides only good for each of us. "All-harmonious" is by definition good; it has no opposite in God's creation. Frustration and impatience are diametrically opposed to good; therefore neither has any place in God. I am God's child, inseparable from Him.

As the day progressed, I had many other opportunities to review the Lord's Prayer as I waited for stoplights. Often, I had time to consider the entire prayer; other times just a few words. I was benefiting so much from this practice that I no longer minded red lights, because each one was giving me an occasion to reaffirm the basic truths about God and His kingdom that are contained in this prayer. Besides that first verse, other verses deal with how we should regard God; with His ever-presence, supremacy, provision and protection for us; and with His allness. There's no limit to the good that can come to us from study of this prayer.

Mrs. Eddy observed: "Our Master taught his disciples one brief prayer, which we name after him the Lord's Prayer. Our Master said, 'After this manner therefore pray ye,' and then he gave that prayer which covers all human needs" (Science and Health, p. 16). I've found examples of how that is true. I've reached the point where I carefully review this prayer whenever I have to wait somewhere-in a line at a bank or post office, or for a friend-or when I wake up during the night. Jesus must have considered the Lord's Prayer important, or else he would not have told his disciples, "After this manner therefore pray ye" before he shared it with them.

Once again, that interpretation of the first line is, "Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious." When we firmly grasp the truth that God is all-harmonious, we see that there is no place left for impatience or frustration in thought and, therefore, in experience. Impatience is a bad characteristic that springs from the false belief that we are mortal and subject to death-inharmony. It's in replacing thoughts of impatience with the truth of God's omnipresence that we find harmony is here and is true, no matter what the situation seems to be. When we commune with God, harmony is in control of our thinking wherever we are, whatever we are doing, whenever we are doing it. There's no way for harmony to be removed from our lives, because of the truth that we are one with God, as Jesus indicated (see John 10:27-30).

As God's children, you and I reflect the qualities of God, including harmony, which are invariably as good as He is. We can't remind ourselves often enough that we are included in God's harmony, where there is no frustration or impatience. This knowledge is a protection against evil at all times, no matter what the situation.

Articles and features on Christian Science appear in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.

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