Only in my town, New York, is being open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, not enough. There's a sign on the 3-Star Deli Grocery in midtown that says, "OPEN 25 HOURS." They're really always open.
This display of one-upmanship not only made me laugh; it also reminded me that God is present continuously - beyond any doubt.
Such was one father's love. Active, boundless, unconditional, reliable, he was ready to run and greet his wayward son with open arms, 24 hours a day.
The kid had "wasted his substance with riotous living." Down and out, broken and broke, he contemplated his humiliating return home: "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants."
But read how Jesus, who told the story (see Luke, Chap. 15), described the reunion: "When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." And, of course, as the parable was intended to convey, God - the divine Father - is forever ready and waiting to greet His loved children - you and me - the same way.
You come running home to God mentally. Through prayer. Humble, heartfelt prayer. It starts from the point of view of what's true about who we are - the perfect children of God. The beloved image of the Supreme Being, of the divine Spirit. This prayer reaches out to the Mind that thought of us in the first place.
We can't see who we really are with our eyes. We're not physical (or a combination of body and soul). That is the way it appears. But we're actually Mind's awesome ideas, formed of durable, indestructible attributes such as creativity, competence, and coherence. Precision, patience, and profundity. Excellence, vitality, wisdom, health, and wit. You're the very individualized expression of these qualities. They're the real you. A good and forever you that can't waste, get used up, or become lost. Because you're spiritual.
I've sure been rescued by this. Like the prodigal son, there have been times when I've messed up. I've "made too many wrong mistakes," as the New York Yankees catcher-philosopher Yogi Berra put it. And my mistakes have brought me a lot of heartache. I know what it's like to feel unworthy. (The feeling of unworthiness can sneak up on you in little ways every day.)
But ... I'm learning to turn to the living God - which is the light of spiritual Truth shining in our lives - to rescue me, correct me, uplift me, and transform me. I remember that God loves me. And that I love Him/Her. That is, I love Truth, intelligence, Life, Principle, and everything good. And when I remember this, I feel reunited with all that's good. I feel safe.
There's never truly a moment when we're separate from God. In God's arms - the knowledge of divine Love - I'm not afraid. The founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, talked about this in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love. Then we begin to learn Life in divine Science" (pg. 322).
Open your heart to God. Keep it open. Remember that good is all-powerful and all-present. That you are worthy because you are the daughter of God. That you are not forgotten, because you are the son of God. That God is always ready to comfort and sustain you, is running toward you to hug you ... 25 hours a day.
Arise, shine; for thy light
is come, and the glory
of the Lord is risen upon
thee ... thy gates
shall be open continually;
they shall not be shut
day nor night.
Isaiah 60:1, 11
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society