Now is the most important time

IT was five minutes before I had to give a talk. I was thoroughly prepared but still worried about how it would all come out. My concern was a signal to me that I had to pray more in order to feel at peace. As I turned to God for direction and inspiration, I was comforted by this healing thought -- that God, divine Love, was filling that very moment, as every moment, with limitless good. So if I could feel the calmness and serenity of divine Love then, I could feel it five minutes later.

As I began to discern, through prayer, Love's nearness and power, I realized I could feel the divine presence for the whole evening. And I did. I decided I didn't have to wait another second to be grateful for God's care. I felt it right then, and it lasted well into the evening, and beyond.

It doesn't matter whether the time we're concerned about is five minutes or fifty years away. The real need is to recognize God's constant care embracing us right at this instant, because future moments grow out of the present.

Nothing is more comforting than to know and feel now that God is present, that divine Love is caring for us. This may seem far from the reality of our lives at the moment, yet Love's omnipresence is a spiritual fact.

We seem to be vulnerable mortals, separate from our creator, but as God's offspring our actual selfhood is invulnerable, spiritual, enveloped in holiness, secure in righteousness. And we can come to feel this through prayer. Isaiah reassures us, ``Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.''1

The need is to cultivate a spiritual sense of God's uninterrupted care and of our genuine, God-created being, which is always whole and safe in Him. This isdivine, eternal reality, which transcends the moment's fears and even the most challenging circumstances. It is spiritual truth, which, when discerned, sheds the light of healing in our lives.

Christ Jesus' healing of a sick woman and of a girl who had died tell us a lot about the presence of God's goodness and man's eternal security in this divine goodness.2 He proved the healing potency of discerning the ``now'' of spiritual reality.

He was called to visit the home ofJairus, a synagogue official, whose daughter was dying. It was urgent that he come quickly.

On the way, Jesus was stopped by a woman who was chronically ill. (I've always loved this story, because there's no evidence that Jesus felt bewildered or confused about these two urgent demands for healing.) He didn't rush past the woman in a frantic sprint to Jairus's house. He took time to comfort andheal her.

But it looked as if there were a heavy price to pay for this delay in seeingJairus's daughter, because a report came that the girl had died. Friends told Jairus the sad news.

Immediately Jesus comforted Jairus, telling him not to be afraid but to believe in God's healing power. He went to the home and healed the girl quickly and completely. Jesus' unshaken conviction as to God's ever-presence brought healing in both cases. These healings, linked in such a special way, indicate that time is not the deciding factor in the presence of Christ, the divine healing influence.

How could Jesus have felt so calm, confident, and unhurried in the face of such pressure? Could it be because he was conscious of God's love and power, of what God is doing right now for man, always maintaining his well-being?

As we admit that all good is taking place right at this moment, we will feel it, not only now but later as well. ``Later'' will be merely a fuller expression of the good we feel now.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, speaks directly to the issue of now as opposed to the past and future. She writes, ``We own no past, no future, we possess only now.'' She continues a few lines later, ``Faith in divine Love supplies the ever-present help and now, and gives the power to `act in the living present.'''3

1Isaiah 26:3. 2See Mark 5:22-42. 3The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 12.

You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Beloved, now are we the sons of God. I John 3:2

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