Finally, I feel at home
Originally printed as an article in the Christian Science Sentinel
An experience i had recently showed me what home really is.
For a couple of years, I didn't have a permanent place to live, and never really felt at home. I always had good lodging, but something was lacking.
What, I asked myself, was I looking for? Permanence and stability for starters. I also wanted to feel comforted and supported, peaceful and protected. I thought being in a different geographical area might help. Or if I could stay in one house for more than a few months, that might make me feel more peaceful.
But in which beam or brick of a house does one find peace? From which electrical outlet does comfort flow? The more I thought about home, the more I realized that no physical place could give me permanent peace or comfort. I was actually yearning to feel the presence of good, to be aware of God's ever-present comfort and protection.
"Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, relates home to heaven (see pg. 254). Elsewhere, the book describes heaven as "harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul" (pg. 587). Wouldn't we all love to come home to that?
Well, we can. No matter what our circumstances, we each can turn our thought wholeheartedly to God right this very moment. When we quiet human reasoning and listen trustingly to God, we'll be able to sense His infinite and always-present goodness embracing us. This is not mere positive thinking or a willful attempt to ignore one's problems. Turning to God and recognizing God as the source of all that's true about us is scientific prayer - thinking and reasoning on the basis of the same divine laws by which Jesus accomplished his great works.
God is supreme, ever-present good, the only cause, the one divine Mind. In truth, each of us is the image, or idea, of this Mind. We are made up solely of the elements of Mind - not matter. In other words, we are made up of spiritual qualities - of intelligence, compassion, integrity, and so forth. There is never a moment when God's child can be separated from Him, from the source of infinite good. And there is never an instant in which His child is unaware of the good that God is constantly giving us.
Reasoning along these lines, I began to feel more peaceful, protected, and comforted, no matter where I was. But I still did not have a permanent home.
After I had searched for nearly three months for a permanent place to live, things seemed pretty hopeless. Lack of money, transportation, and compatible roommates all felt like limiting factors. It looked as though I would have to compromise some of my needs. But I kept cherishing the thought that God doesn't give His beloved children second-best; rather, He creates us complete, already including all the good we could ever want.
Finally, I gave up all personal efforts to find a place, and in a humble and heartfelt moment of trust in God, I fully opened my thought to His direction. Three things I wanted stood out as legitimate: access to my activities, a peaceful place for spiritual study, and rent I could afford. It seemed very doubtful that a place satisfying all three of these needs existed; yet I felt sure that these were legitimate needs and that somehow they would be met.
Literally 15 minutes later, a friend called. A real estate agent she knew had just stopped by and mentioned that a small apartment he co-owned had been prematurely vacated. It met all of my needs, except that the rent was a little high. As it turned out, however, the landlord needed computer-related help in his office, which I was able to provide in return for reduced rent.
Everyone was benefited by this arrangement. Not only did the apartment suit me perfectly, but my landlord got the help he needed, the previous tenant was not penalized for breaking her lease, and my landlord was saved from the sometimes trying ordeal of finding a new tenant.
The first night in my new home, I felt I was in heaven. But the best part was knowing that my sense of heaven was not confined to my apartment. It was a consciousness of good that would be with me wherever I went.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society