ARE you fairly comfortable with your situation today but increasingly worried about what might happen in the future? If you're like many of us, it's certainly not difficult to find things to worry about. But it is possible, through prayer, to shift one's perception of existence from a strictly material sense of things, with all the worrisome concerns that go with it, to a spiritual view. And when we strive consistently to do this, we begin to find ourselves so secure in living now to the fullest that we're less and less inclined to fret about the future.
This doesn't mean, of course, that we shouldn't prepare wisely for the future or that it's advisable to adopt an indifferent or thoughtless attitude. But it does mean that we have a right to express our God-given dominion more fully and to be free from the fears that would obstruct our progress.
Recently I had a small, everyday experience that set me to thinking more deeply about the vitally important issue of protecting ``now'' from ``later.''
I was having breakfast at a favorite sidewalk cafe, enjoying the lovely morning, when I suddenly noticed that all the closely placed tables around me had filled up with breakfasters. To get out I would have to ask several people to move. It was a silly thing to worry about, but all at once my enjoyment in being there was eclipsed by concern about getting out. How would I manage? What route would I take? Suppose I dropped my tray -- or accidentally hit someone with my tote bag. Then I realized how silly all this was! I wasn't even ready to leave yet. And what difference would it make if I did eventually have to ask someone to move?
Trivial though it was, this little episode opened up a major area of thought for me. Christian Science shows us that when we calmly refuse to distrust God's present, unfaltering care for us by worrying about the future -- whether it's the next half hour, tomorrow, or that far-off ``someday'' -- we begin to glimpse something of timeless spiritual reality, of the eternal ``now'' of God's creating and the uninterrupted well-being of His spiritual image, man. This is who we really are; it's our genuine being. And as we come to discern that selfhood more and more through prayer and purification of thought, we'll experience a greater measure of our God-given harmony, of the eternal ``now'' of God's goodness.
The Bible tells us, ``Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.''1 And Christ Jesus cautions uslovingly against spoiling this wonderful ``now'' with a lot of worrisome cares. Under the Biblical page heading, ``Against worldly carefulness,'' we read Jesus' counsel to his disciples not to be anxious about whether they'll have enough to eat or wear. And then he says, ``Rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.''2
Again, spiritually seeking the kingdom of God certainly doesn't mean ignoring reasonable provision for one's worldly obligations, some of which do indeed fall in the future. But such provisionneed never deplete the resources werequire today.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes: ``God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment. What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have.''3
So let's protect our now's -- confidently, joyously savor them; glory in them. As we do, through prayerful yielding to God's ever-present care for His children, we'll find priceless rewards such as peace of mind, well-being, a deeper love for humanity, a growing Christliness.
1II Corinthians 6:2. 2See Luke 12:22, 31. 3Miscellaneous Writings, p. 307. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Psalms 118:24,25