Defeating disappointment

``HAVE a joyful trip!'' my five-year-old said as I turned to go. I was leaving her with a friend who had a daughter about the same age. I was touched by the sweet smile on her upturned face, and even more by her thoughtful words, for she had wanted so much to accompany me on this trip. I was making a weekend visit to a not too distant city, and there were reasons why it was not feasible to take her along. She accepted the decision--though she did not understand it--with a graciousness I'll never forget. I thought about it during my train ride and have remembered it frequently since when tempted to yield to disappointment's gloom. I have sometimes longed for that childlike buoyancy--that ability to give up one's dearest wish and turn to see the good inevitably being supplied for us by our loving Father-Mother God. But surely we can all cultivate the humble thought that brings this buoyancy. Whenever I have made a genuine effort not to give in to a feeling of deep disappointment, I have been beautifully rewarded. One instance stands out. I was feeling particularly crushed when a loved one who had come for a brief visit found that for reasons beyond his control the visit had to be even briefer than anticipated. After he left, self-pity and disappointment descended at once like a fog trying to obliterate the sunshine of God's ever-presence. But after a half-hour or so of this misery I resolutely turned away from self-pity and prayed to be more aware of the presence of God, who is omnipresent good. I realized that God always has a blessing

for His offspring, and I expressed gratitude for this. My heart soon grew lighter as I went about my work. To my great surprise and joy, in a few hours my loved one returned, carrying his luggage and saying that when he got to his ship he was told that sailing had been postponed for several days after all! I was deeply grateful, but I had already found my peace. Things may not always work out in just that way when we pray, but we can be sure that if we pray sincerely, with a willingness to let God's will be done, not ours, there will be a satisfying answer. Seeking our happiness in material living, we may frequently be disappointed. Since the mortal sense of existence is not the eternal reality of being, we need to set our sights higher, above materiality and its false promises. In proportion as we do so, we will find the ups and downs of human life less able to disturb our joy, because that joy is founded on the rock of spirituality. It's founded on an understanding of God as the only true source of our well-being and of man as the very manifestation of d ivine good. Mary Baker Eddy1 writes: ``The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love. Then we begin to learn Life in divine Science.'' 2 As we give up the mistaken belief that material life can be the source of true joy or that it represents ultimate truth, we find a deeply rooted peace in the growing understanding of Life as God--pure Spirit. We begin to give up our frail trusts and ill usive affections and put all our faith in God. And we purify our sense of love, seeing it to be an expression of divine Love itself. The Old Testament prophet wrote, ``Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.'' 3 What a promise! If we have faith in it, we'll see through disappointments to the reality of Life as God, changeless good. 1 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 322. 3 Malachi 3:10.

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