Have you ever been confused about what decision to make, which pathway to take, wondering if it is God's will or yours? When Christ Jesus gave us the Lord's Prayer, he said, ''After this manner therefore pray ye.'' n1 Even if we don't use the exact words of the Lord's Prayer, we can find the guidance we need by acknowledging and practicing the same ideas that Jesus brought out in the Lord's Prayer.
After beginning the prayer by identifying God as our Father, the loving Parent of all, whose very name is to be hallowed, Jesus says, ''Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.'' An understanding of God's will and nature is important to all of us, and highly practical.
n1 See Matthew 6:9-13.
I once agonized for some time about a decision that would require drastic changes in our family's life style. Wondering if what I wanted to do was God's will or my will, I realized that because there is only one God, who is All, in absolute truth there can be only one will - God's. And since, according to the Bible, man is the image, or reflection, of God, man must reflect God's will. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says, ''As the reflection of yourself appears in the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God.'' n2
n2 Science and Health, p. 516.
In explaining this concept to my young daughter, I told her that just as it was impossible for us to stand in front of a mirror brushing our hair, and have the mirror show us brushing our teeth, so it was impossible for man to reflect anything unlike God. I suddenly saw that since God was All and I was His image, in truth I was always being governed by God's will. We do, of course, need to be alert to the sometimes subtle intrusions of self-will. But if our motives are Godlike and we humbly trust Him to direct us, we'll know and do what's right.
In the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures Mrs. Eddy defines ''will,'' giving both the false sense of that term and the true, spiritual sense: ''The motive-power of error; mortal belief . . . . The might and wisdom of God.'' And we go on to read in the same definition: ''Will, as a quality of so-called mortal mind, is a wrong-doer; hence it should not be confounded with the term as applied to Mind or to one of God's qualities.'' n3
n3 Ibid., p. 597.
Because God is infinite and there can be no power apart from Him, there isn't , in absolute truth, a will opposed to God. If there could be, God wouldn't be All. Our job is to prove this, to realize with conviction that as His image we can be no more unwilling to do His will than our mirror could be unwilling to reflect us brushing our hair.
As my understanding of God's will developed, I realized that no decision impelled by Him could adversely affect any member of my family, since His will is only good for each of His children. With this understanding came a complete release from the burden of false responsibility. I saw there was no way that man , the reflection of God, could direct God, or take matters into his own hands, any more than the mirrored reflection could direct the actions of the person standing in front of it. I could rest, assured that God's control was complete and always good. Very shortly after this false burden was released, a decision was made and each member of my family responded to it enthusiastically.
Sometimes we let ourselves become confused by dualism, by a belief in two powers, two wills, when we would more readily find our answers if we remembered the oneness, the allness, of God. As Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health, ''The divine understanding reigns, is all, and there is no other consciousness.'' n4
n4 Ibid., p. 536.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:17