Keeping thought on God
A Christian Science perspective.
Squash enthusiasts recently had reason to remember an interesting man who dedicated his life to the sport. Hashim Khan, a Pakistani who lived to about 100, recently passed on, leaving a rich legacy for those who love to play the game.
Years ago my friend Perry and I used to play squash, and we would often remind each other of Mr. Khan’s simple, but very practical advice, which was the title of his book and short film: “Keep eye on ball.”
Ever since those days that statement has been instructive for me in pursuing life goals and attending to daily duties. I’ve seen it as a reminder to stay focused on the task at hand and not get distracted.
Students of Christian Science learn early in their study how to increasingly keep their thought on what’s true. The teachings of Christ Jesus are the foundation of this Science, instructing the student to begin with God as the divine Principle of all real being, and to stay with that spiritual fact, whatever issue is on the table.
When a lawyer asked Jesus, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:36-38).
The Master’s innate and total love for God – with all his heart, and soul, and mind – enabled him to heal the sick, redeem the sinner, restore the dying and dead, and to meet individual needs. His rejection of matter as the substance of everything, and his looking to divine Truth and Love instead for supply and healing, brought such blessings to others.
Christian Science teaches that each one of us can follow the Master’s example and begin at least to approximate his works. Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 261).
Looking “away from the body into Truth and Love” does not mean ignoring the suffering of others. In fact, it means just the opposite — it means bringing healing to those who are suffering. But to succeed in demonstrating the spiritual laws of divine Truth and Love, one must lift thought to the divine reality of everyone’s true being, entirely free of pain and suffering.
With this uplifted thought, we can keep watch mentally and remain alert to what is true about God and man. When we’re faced with suggestions of chaos and disorder, we can affirm in prayer that God is always present, active, and governing. When claims of injustice or suffering clamor for attention, we can understand that God’s goodness is always governing the real man – our true selves, made in God’s image and likeness. If sickness and disease seem prevalent in world thought, we can pray to see that God is the permanent source of our health. And we can expect our prayer to have an effect in practical ways.
Everyone has the capacity to see spiritually. Everyone has the ability to “hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true.” Doing so is not mere optimism. It is choosing to recognize the reality of God’s being, the divine facts instead of the falsities of evil that would try to obscure from us the light of God’s perfect, ever-present universe. Each of us can see and experience the wonderful reality of His being, which always pours forth so much good.
Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The rays of infinite Truth, when gathered into the focus of ideas, bring light instantaneously, whereas a thousand years of human doctrines, hypotheses, and vague conjectures emit no such effulgence” (“Science and Health,” p. 504).
As we “love the Lord [our] God with all [our] heart” and hold our thought only to the divine reality, our lives will continue to find blessings, progress, and harmony.