Delay? Pray!

We were enjoying the last swim of the weekend on an island beach several miles from our marina when busy clouds hurried to warm us that we were in the path of a a summer storm.We had scarcely boarded and launched our houseboat when what seemed a solid curtain of rain closed in on us. We couldn't see past the bow of the boat.

With no compass aboard, we did the only wise thing. We put back to the island to wait out the storm. Prayerfully placing our plans in God's hands, we decided to turn the delay into a picnic aboard. Soon the squall passed, and we enjoyed a clear, calm cruise into port. With dinner behind us, no time had been lost.

Acknowledging the omnipresence of divine Mind, God, can always do much more than threat us through to a destination of our own choosing, at our own timing. Scientific prayer supersedes faulty human outlining with perfect divine planing. When spiritual composure begins, material confusion ends.

Prayer enables us to discover progress right where we are. Protesting the suggestion that good is postponed, true prayer praises the eternal presence of all that is good -- of God and His creation. Trusting God awakens us to see the cloudless pathway forward that He always provides.

Not long ago we had an office crisis that again proved the superiority of the divine navigation of prayer over human planning. Our photocopy machine gradually declined in the quality of its output.Our regular repairman gave his all. Still, the situation worsened. So we cast off toward the reasonable destination of a replacement -- a major expenditure for a small business.

Then the deluge hit. Salesmen demonstrated products that shared attractive come-ons with potential drawbacks. Friends contributed advice. We soon found ourselves staring into a downpour of opinions so dense we couldn't detect which way to go.

So we followed a procedure Christ Jesus sometimes used. He would withdraw from pressing demands to commune with God, to refresh his understanding of his true selfhood and ours, of the true idea of man created and maintained in God's likeness.

When the Master "withdraw himself into the wilderness, and prayed," n1 was his withdrawal a delay in facing and meeting the demands upon him? Wasn't it rather a necessary step of spiritual progress toward meeting those demands?

n1 Luke 5:16.

We realized that our retreat from investtigation and weighing was no delay. It was a decision to pray -- to listen for and follow divine direction. Very quickly, certainty settled in. We were led to call a service company we had never used. They assured us our machine was by no means on its last legs. At a fraction of the cost of a new machine, they restored it to like-new condition.

Whenever we withdraw from human outlining, human opinion, and human reasoning to refresh our confidence in the guidance of Mind, we prepare to hear and heed spiritual sense.Spiritual sense may be thought of a compass to guide us when the way forward seems obscure to the delusive material senses. But spiritual sense is much more than a compass. It is all-encompassing. Instead of just steering us through storms and uncertainties, spiritual sense dispels the illusion of any possible mind or sense apart from God.

Cultivating spiritual sense through scientific prayer and Christian practice restores our apprehension of divine intelligence, which knows and tolerates no confusion. Since there is no delay in Mind, there is no moment of delay for Mind's idea, our real or spiritual identity. Incessant progress is demostrable.

There is no island of delay to isolate you from divine goodness. But there is a spiritual sanctuary of protection and progress -- scientific prayer -- available wherever you are.Of that refuge of spiritual understanding, from which we can always view divine reality, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "Into His Haven of Soul there enters no element of earth to cast out angels, to silence the right intuition which guides you safely home." n2

n2 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 152.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. John 4:35

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