YOU know the feeling. You've got a list of things to do and the list is half a mile long. Even if you had started two days ago, you can't see how you could get everything done when it's supposed to be done. And you aren't exactly enthusiastic about several of the things you need to do. You just feel pressed. Somehow you've got to find a way to do it all. Even though the particular needs may be legitimate, the burdened feeling is not legitimate. It isn't natural. And we can do something to be free of the pressure and to forward the accomplishment of our tasks. We can pray.
If we think we can't pray because we imagine we don't have the time to do one more thing, we may have talked ourselves out of our own escape from the predicament! Prayer isn't really a matter of time. It's a matter of getting ourselves rightly oriented to God. If we are willing to do this, the results can be wonderfully effective.
The correct orientation involves seeing rightly our relationship to God, divine Mind, as His idea, His image. To identify man as the spiritual idea of divine Mind, expressing the intelligence, peace, energy, order of the divine nature, is such a help. It's a big relief from the pressed sense of man as a limited mortal with a limited amount of intelligence, time, capacities.
Viewing oneself in a limited way may seem to be an honest, realistic thing to do. But it's not realistic in that our true selfhood is something far more than what it seems to be. Knowing that we are spiritual ideas of God, created and sustained by Him, we find that what once may have seemed too much or too hard to do can actually be done well.
God is the only Maker, the only cause. We might say God is the only doer. Man is the reflection of his Maker, of his creator. The more we glimpse the true spiritual nature of God, the more we see ofour own God-derived qualities such as strength, patience, discernment, humility, decisiveness.
Christ Jesus pointed out more than once that his healing works -- in fact all that he accomplished -- were the result of his clearly understood relationship to God. He once said, ``Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.''1
What do we see the Father doing? Do we see God as maintaining order in His creation? Do we see Him as governing His offspring intelligently? Do we see Him as infinite, eternal Love, filling His universe with tenderness and strength? Do we see Him guiding and empowering His children with and for good? In the face of severe challenges, we may feel He isn't doing any of these things. Yet God is always strengthening and caring for His creation. Our job is to realize this, to insist on the spiritual reality of being, which transcends the human condition and enables us to bring healing to it.
A stillness is needed to know and feel that man is God's reflection. ``Be still, and know that I am God,''2 we hear our Father say in the words of the Bible. ``Be still.''
When we are spiritually still, prayerfully still, we can feel divine Truth and Love operating within us peacefully and without interruption. Fears and pressures subside. We begin to realize the illegitimacy of any supposed opposition to the operation of divine law and its normal expression. Pressures of time are lessened. Frustration diminishes. A steady confidence in active good is felt, and we accomplish what needs to be accomplished. ``The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible,''3 writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
Doing what we need to do shouldn't involve a feeling of pressured slavishness, of an inadequate mortal self struggling to get things done. Rather it should result from responding to what God is doing and from identifying ourselves as His reflection. Mrs. Eddy says, ``Man is God's image and likeness; whatever is possible to God, is possible to man as God's reflection.''4
Glimpsing the reality of man, coming to feel it through prayer, gives plenty of inspiration and encouragement. We're helped to see benevolent divine law ensuring the achievement of good.
1John 5:19, 20. 2Psalms 46:10. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 199. 4Miscellaneous Writings, p. 183. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13