There may be times when we're so concerned with our everyday problems that we tend to overlook the deeper, spiritual issues that can point us to the answers we need. One all-important question we might take more time to consider is ''What am I?'' The correct answer can help us immeasurably with the very problems we're facing.
We have Scriptural authority for not accepting the popular conception of man as mortal and material, separated from God, dependent on his own limited resources. ''Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?'' n1 the prophet wrote. And the Bible tells us that man is made in the image of God, who is infinite Spirit. Our actual selfhood, then, is far above the limited, fleshly being we generally identify as man. If we think of God's likeness as a mere mortal, limited at every point, aren't we really discrediting God?
n1 Isaiah 2:22.
Christ Jesus made it clear that man is never separated from God, and this understanding enabled him to overcome all human limitations. Yet he humbly said, ''The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do,'' n2 and, ''The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.'' n3
n2 John 5:19.
n3 John 14:10.
Thinking along these lines was most helpful to me years ago when my employer wanted me to collect money from various firms. I had never done any collecting and was doubtful of my success.
That evening I phoned a friend, a Christian Science practitioner, and told her of my doubts. Instantly she asked, ''Who's going to do the work?'' Answering her own question, she said, ''The one Mind!'' She didn't mean, of course, that I didn't have work to do but rather that I wasn't alone - God was always guiding and directing me.
Encouraged, I reaffirmed some of the Bible-based truths that Christian Science teaches - that man is a spiritual being, inseparable from God, not a limited mortal with a personal, limited mind; that man reflects the one Mind, God, from whom he receives unlimited intelligence and ability. In the Bible we read, ''Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.'' n4 And Mary Baker Eddy n5 writes with clear logic in the Christian Science textbook, ''We can have but one Mind, if that one is infinite.'' 6
n4 Jeremiah 23:24.
n5 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n6 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 469.
My trip was successful, and there were clear-cut examples of Mind's direction. In one instance, because of a special celebration, I had difficulty finding accommodations in the town I was visiting. I began to pray, realizing that as a child of God I was always where I belonged, under the jurisdiction of the one Mind, and that this spiritual fact would be made manifest humanly.
Soon I recalled having seen the sign for a rooming house as my train came into town. Although there were no vacancies at the rooming house, I was told that a new place was just opening not far away. Here I not only found a room but had an entire apartment to myself.
Another illustration of Mind's harmonizing power occurred when I called to collect from a businessman. He seemed annoyed, as if I were rushing him, although he had been notified that I was coming. He had made out the check but couldn't find it, so I offered to come back the next day. As I walked away I resented his unpleasant attitude. But I prayed to realize that he actually reflected the one Mind, God, and therefore could express only such qualities as patience, fairness, cooperation, and love.
When I returned the next day his attitude was the opposite of the previous day's. He continued hunting for his check. Soon two men were waiting for him. I offered to return later but he said, ''Stay right there.'' When he found the check he kindly asked me if I had collected from another company with which he was connected. I had.
When we doubt our ability to perform some task, it may be helpful to ask ourselves, ''Who's going to do the work?'' We are not doing it unaided, because divine Love is ever at hand to direct our way and to enable us to perform our part joyfully and successfully. DAILY BIBLE VERSE It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13iah 23:24. 5 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 6 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 469.