The most important thing in life

Cindy and John were having lunch together, as they often did on Saturday, at their favorite restaurant. Usually the conversation was light and happy, but today Cindy was a little blue.

''What's the matter?'' asked John.

''Oh, I don't know,'' Cindy replied. ''I guess I'm just depressed about things. My job. My figure. I just don't seem to be appreciated at work, and I wish I could lose about twenty pounds.''

''I understand how you feel,'' John replied. ''I've got some problems bothering me, too.''

''You'd never know it. Why aren't you depressed?''

John thought for a while and said: ''Because there's something bigger going on in my life than my personal problems. Something that puts everything else into perspective. You know. We've talked about it before. It's our relationship to God, getting to know Him. Nothing's more important.''

Cindy didn't reply right away and then said quietly, ''I guess I haven't been giving Him much thought lately.''

''But He's everything,'' John answered. ''Without Him, there really is no happiness, success, or progress. Without Him, life is meaningless. He is our Life.''

''I know,'' Cindy replied. ''And I do love Him, and I know He loves me. I think I have some reacquainting to do.''

Though the names have been changed, this conversation was a real one, and for Cindy it was a step forward in reorienting her life toward God.

But what of our lives? Are we down and out? Sick? Unemployed? At the end of our rope for whatever reason? No matter how serious our plight, there's something that finally proves to be more important than all else: getting to know God. Everything else is really secondary to this.

At first this assertion may seem hard to accept. But experience ultimately proves that without a developing consciousness of God and our relationship to Him, we can never really make sense of life. We can never really get a handle on our problems and solve them. But as we seek God, His tender mercies brighten the darkness of our lives and lift us out of sin, pain, disease, misery, poverty, joyless living, lack of companionship - whatever is unlike His goodness.

The Bible abounds with examples of what God can do when we open up our lives to Him. It shows that we need God; in fact, that He is our absolute need; for, as Christian Science explains, God is Life itself, the very Soul of man's existence. The only real life or existence we will ever have is the abundant life we discover in our relationship to Him.

In her work Unity of Good, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes of God: ''He is all the Life and Mind there is or can be. Within Himself is every embodiment of Life and Mind.'' And she goes on to say: ''Now this self-same God is our helper. He pities us. He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers. He is near to them who adore Him.'' n1

n1 Un., pp. 3-4

If turning to our tender Father-Mother God seems difficult or beyond our ability, we should be assured that God is already embracing us. He is always as close as heartfelt prayer. In fact, the sincere desire to know Him is the work of His spirit within us. The Bible reassures us, ''The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you.'' n2 It doesn't matter how unworthy we may feel to approach Him. All that matters is that we sincerely want to know Him and are willing to obey His leadings.

n2 II Chronicles 15:2.

And let's be honest. To know God intimately, we may well have to change or purify our most basic motives and affections. Yet God doesn't ask anything of us that He Himself won't empower us to do.

As we come to know the divine Mind ''which was also in Christ Jesus,'' n3 we'll have the new thoughts and affections we need to heal ourselves and others spiritually, as Jesus said we could and should. Our part is to learn to lean on God and to discover and prove that He is in fact the source of all true health, provision, enjoyment, fulfillment, bliss.

n3 Philippians 2:5.

Getting to know God doesn't mean we won't have trials. But it does mean that when trials come, we'll know whom to turn to for help and healing. And as God becomes to us our All-in-all, even our very Life and Mind, we will find limitation after limitation fall away, until at last we awake in His likeness. With this our goal and high destiny, could anything be more important than knowing Him? DAILY BIBLE VERSE Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Job 22:21

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