Take the third choice

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

This was the unexpected advice someone I know received when she asked a friend for help in deciding between two options.

The third choice was to ask God for direction. As I recall, she said doing this brought a new answer to light, one that hadn't previously occurred to her. And it turned out to be the right thing.

God is the divine Mind. The Mind that provides us with infinite possibilities for solving our problems.

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When it comes to health care options in particular, we may feel we have only two choices. Either we can be sick and hope we will get over it naturally. Or else we can fight the sickness by introducing pharmaceuticals, alternative therapies, or complementary medicines.

But it's worth noting that we can choose a third option - which is purely spiritual healing. This involves understanding and proving that health is truly nonvarying in God's creation. Spiritual healing through prayer, without material means, isn't conventional. But it is legitimate. It comes about when a person's understanding of what constitutes life, substance, and intelligence undergoes a transformation. When he or she gains some recognition that there is only the divine Mind, God, and Mind's pure ideas. Health and harmony are permanent conditions of everything God has made.

The benefits of choosing this spiritual approach to health care are discussed in an account of someone on a strict diet to combat stomach trouble. There was no improvement. His doctors couldn't offer hope for recovery.

He finally learned of another option. He learned how he was made in the image of God - spiritual, healthy. This conviction left him free to eat whatever he wanted. He found he had the choice of demonstrating, through prayer alone, the spiritual nature of health. A transformation in what he saw himself to be brought complete physical healing. This is discussed on pages 221 and 222 of the Christian Science textbook, which is "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy.

Spiritual health may sound like an abstraction. But as more and more people seek alternative routes to wellness, some are finding that their answers lie in gaining a clear conviction that their health is God-given. And that they can engage in scientific prayer that brings mental and physical improvement.

Jesus practiced restorative prayer based on the divine Principle, God. Today we can learn from his example. Pray as he did. And see definite results. Jesus showed that God's universal presence and infinite power are the cause of being. His knowledge of God's total goodness denied space and authority to the discord and disease that he encountered. He cured those who came to him for help.

Science and Health defines what physical well-being really is, using Mind, Principle, and Truth as descriptive names for God: "Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind; nor can the material senses bear reliable testimony on the subject of health. The Science of Mind-healing shows it to be impossible for aught but Mind to testify truly or to exhibit the real status of man. Therefore the divine Principle of Science, reversing the testimony of the physical senses, reveals man as harmoniously existent in Truth, which is the only basis of health; and thus Science denies all disease, heals the sick, overthrows false evidence, and refutes materialistic logic" (pg. 120).

I find this practical. Understanding something of it has led me to suffer much less from colds and flu, for example. I still sometimes have symptoms of one or the other, but I've come to find I really do have a choice. I can prove the fact that my health is spiritual - in God and invariably good. When I have sincerely sought the conviction of this fact through prayer, and have understood more clearly how I am made in the image of health-full Mind, something significant has happened! The cold or flu has ceased - without running the course of symptoms that would be typically expected. That is something I would formerly have thought to be impossible.

It's worth remembering what you could call the third choice: prayer based on the fact that health is God-given and permanent.

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