At times, human thinking may seem like a runaway stagecoach, speeding off in undisciplined and hazardous directions. This may appear particularly true if, for instance, one has become annoyed with another or is confronted with an accident.
But the ability to rein thought in is always at hand. We are not at the mercy of a mental stampede, because God gives each one of us dominion, and that dominion is never revoked.
God, the one and only true source of intelligence, is a perpetual source of right thinking. Right thinking is ours to the extent that we listen to God, infinite, unerring divine Mind. We cultivate this listening ability through prayer, through silent communion with our divine source. Then we're not just channeling our thoughts in positive directions; we're actually expressing what Mind gives to us. Patient, forgiving, and fearless thinking is normal because it derives from the one Mind, which is exclusively good. Naturally this type of thinking leads to constructive lives and to enduring harmony.
When fear and shock try to overwhelm, we can exercise our divinely bestowed ability to think rightly. We might ask ourselves, ''Which thought is most pleasing to God?'' Surely anxiety, haste, or irritation would be the wrong thought to adopt. Whereas an understanding faith in God's merciful control over every moment expresses our God-given dominion.
The Apostle Paul points to the spiritual source and basis of our dominion. He speaks of the ''weapons of our warfare'' as ''mighty through God,'' and describes how we fight: ''casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.'' n1
n1 II Corinthians 10:4, 5.
Throughout his ministry Christ Jesus exposed the rightness and wrongness of people's thinking. He showed how evil doing originates in evil thinking. ''For from within,'' he said, ''out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders . . . : all these evil things come from within , and defile the man.'' n2 Conversely, his teachings and healing works show that faithful, obedient, God-responsive thinking brings harmony and wholeness.
n2 Mark 7:21, 23.
A relative of mine, a Christian Scientist, was filled with annoyance following a telephone conversation. When she returned to her work in the kitchen , she inadvertently gouged her finger with a sharp knife. There was considerable bleeding and she felt faint. She knew that she must look to God for help. Just then, the telephone rang. It was a friend, from across the state, who also studied Christian Science.
The friend immediately sensed the need and assured my relative of God's uninterrupted care. The friend spoke with deep conviction and authority. Her confident understanding of God's omnipresent love took away the fear. Soon my relative began to think peacefully, hopefully. She began to cast down ''every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.'' She felt love for her friend and abandoned the irritation she had felt toward the previous caller. She glimpsed the fact that since God, supreme Mind, was right with her, she need not consent to thoughts of pain or weakness.
She covered the wounded finger and proceeded with her work. Within a day the deep wound had closed, and soon thereafter the finger was completely normal.
The right thinker honors, trusts, and obeys God. This naturally brings protection and healing. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ''The right thinker abides under the shadow of the Almighty. His thoughts can only reflect peace, good will towards men, health, and holiness.'' n3
n3 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 210.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth under- standing unto the simple. . . . Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. Psalms 119:129, 130, 133