'Our whole life is taken up with anxiety for personal security, with preparations for living, so that we really never live at all" (Tolstoy, "My Religion.")
How this pattern repeats itself! We feel we must go out into the world and do something, be somebody, get an education, a job, a home; find the right partner, earn a good income, gain the approval and respect of others. Before long, fear sets in - fear of failure, of loss, of competition, of evil. We might even feel as empty as the prodigal son, who wandered far from his father's house (see Luke 15:11-24).
Well, if we fail to see our connection with God, which has direct bearing on our lives, all we are doing is setting up a counterfeit existence apart from Him, a mortal existence. Take it from Martha. Jesus Christ was visiting her home, and she was overburdened with domestic responsibility. She asked Jesus to tell her sister Mary, who was listening to Jesus talk, to help her with the serving. But Jesus pointed out that Mary had chosen what was truly important; she was receptive to the message that Jesus was communicating - a message of spiritual existence, to be sure (see Luke 10:38-42).
Jesus told his listeners that God knew their needs and would supply them (see Matt. 6:25-34). His disciples were not to worry about basic necessities like food, drink, and clothing, nor to think about tomorrow. Instead, God was to be their top priority: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Jesus also said, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17). To repent, literally, is to rethink, change thought, change one's mind. To repent of wrongdoing opens us to recognizing the kingdom and to having our thinking spiritually transformed.
Christian Science, the law of God that Jesus preached, shows that the material universe is a counterfeit of the real universe, which is created by God, wholly spiritual. Jesus discredited the notion that God's kingdom is a place we wait to go to after death. It is a divine state of consciousness that can be found in the here and now, in proportion to our understanding of who God is and how He made us. The Christian Science textbook, written by Mary Baker Eddy, says that "when we realize that Life is Spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into self- completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 264).
What a relief that we are already complete, that we find everything we need in God! There's no need to postpone living. Now, today, we can start reflecting and expressing the graces of God, who is Spirit. This is our reason for living.
Jesus painted a portrait of the ideal man or woman, who is "blessed." This individual is "poor in spirit"; is meek; tries to be righteous and merciful; is "pure in heart," a peacemaker, "persecuted for righteousness' sake" (see Matt. 5:3-12). When we seek to express God by following these rules for living, we become more humbly aware of His good will for us. More willing to listen for His voice, to learn, to have our thinking changed. Living in this way, we will gain the "added things" - food, shelter, health, gainful employment, sound marriages, stable families, companionship, everything we need.
When I began to learn of my perfect, spiritual identity, and of my ongoing connection with God, I saw my own anxiety about my personal security begin to fade. As I was obedient to Him, I saw evidence in my life that God supplies my every need. This boosted my morale because it meant that I was not dependent on other people for what I needed. I learned that God is Love, and endeavored to show more love and respect for everybody. It didn't matter what I was doing; I could always do it with love by expressing God. I wanted more spirituality in my life, so I stopped relying on material props, stopped smoking and drinking. I wanted to be healed spiritually, so I threw away my medicines and relied on the law of God, Christian Science. (And God did heal me!)
I resolved to listen to God for guidance. I started a new way of living - spiritual living. And it's what I call really living!