Since you have to get up anyway...

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

My niece has a nightshirt with this message:

GOT UP EARLY ONCE.

DIDN'T LIKE IT.

NEVER DOING IT AGAIN.

It's a fashionable trait, the distaste for getting up early. But for most of us, there's a compelling reason to get up and get going. I can do it grudgingly or I can do it happily, but I have to do it. So I, for one, would prefer to enjoy doing it. And because I wish to enjoy doing it, I find I must question where that thought comes from that says I don't like doing a thing I know I ought to do. Did the Creator of the universe rub His hands together in gleeful disdain, and say, "I'm going to make you do this, and at the same time I'm going to make you really loathe doing it." I don't think so.

I love the Bible; it's filled with simple rules about things we really ought to do to live useful, productive, and happy lives. And I just can't believe that the All-knowing Mind that brought us into being somehow forgot to put it in our hearts to love to do the very things He requires us to do.

So, I'm pretty sure that the thought that we don't want to do what's truly useful and good implies that there are two creators - two powers at work on us - and that we're caught in a perpetual tug of war between the good and the bad creators.

In this context, the First Commandment takes on new meaning: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). To truly obey that commandment, I have to reject the notion that I'm torn between being the good me, the spiritual idea of God, and an inherently weak mortal who can't wait to break another commandment because it's just such fun to be disobedient.

Sometimes my prayer for myself is simply to know that there's one me - the good, pure, spiritual idea that is the image of God - and that any thought that presents itself suggesting that I am less than this good, pure likeness of God is a mistake. It really is an affront to God's nature. God is either omnipotent or He isn't, and if He is omnipotent, as the Bible says, then He is the only legitimate power. And the notion that I could be less than delighted to do right is totally out of line with the nature of the universe and the laws of creation.

Mary Baker Eddy was a revolutionary thinker on spiritual issues. She wrote (and I love this!): "Either there is no omnipotence, or omnipotence is the only power. God is the infinite, and infinity never began, will never end, and includes nothing unlike God ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 249).

So I offer a better message for my niece's nightshirt (or at least a more inspiring thought to start the day) - a motto that includes the desire to do right, as well as the comforting assurance that the Love that requires us to do good is with us, inspiring, strengthening, and leading the way:

My prayer, some daily good to do To Thine, for Thee;

An offering pure of Love, whereto God leadeth me.

("Christ My Refuge," from "Poems," by Mary Baker Eddy)

Cause me to hear

thy lovingkindness

in the morning;

for in thee do I trust:

cause me to know the way

wherein I should walk;

for I lift up my soul

unto thee.

Psalms 143:8

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