HAVE you ever stopped to think about the importance of little things, and of how often one little thing has initiated a very big change, first in your thinking and then in your experience? The Bible speaks of a lot of little things and the impact they had -- the little leaven that leavened the whole lump, the grain of mustard seed that grew into a tree, the candle that lighted all the house.
James wrote, in relation to small things: ``Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.''1 Again something very little is found to be not only indispensable but crucial.
Even a small understanding of the nature of God as perfect Spirit, as eternal Truth, and of man as His spiritual likeness, can progressively transform human experience by purifying our thoughts and actions. God is totally good, and our true being expresses that good, is inseparable from it. This spiritual reality is the basis for human progress, and that's why even a glimpse of it can bless us in the most profound way.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, observes: ``A little leaven causes the whole mass to ferment. A grain of Christian Science does wonders for mortals, so omnipotent is Truth, but more of Christian Science must be gained in order to continue in well doing.''2 Included in this learning process is spiritual healing, which was such a major part of Jesus' teaching, and which he promised his followers would be able to practice too.
Many people have had healings in Christian Science through using the grain of its teaching that they have so far assimilated, and this has been the impetus for continued study and a fuller understanding of the subject. For example, a woman some years ago discovered she had a large lump on her body. Even though she had very little confidence in her own ability to heal herself through prayer and thought she would have to suffer the consequences, she decided that she would first thank God for every good thing, large or small, from her childhood onward. Because there were many good things in her life, they occupied her waking thoughts for days, and she forgot about the lump. It was about ten days after the original discovery, while she was still musing over the blessings in her life, that she realized the lump had completely gone. And this healing has been permanent.
A grateful thought is an acknowledgment of good, and it can help us glimpse how much good there is -- glimpse that good alone is the genuine reality of existence, the reality of our own identity. Then we get an inkling of how infinite and powerful good is, and the sense of evil shrinks into insignificance instead of seeming large and formidable. A grateful thought opens the way for other leavening thought qualities such as strength and faith and fearlessness and love, and these have a healing effect.
This isn't a reason for being limited to one little right thought, but it does encourage us to go on to gain a greater understanding of God until we can prove His power more fully.
1James 3:3, 4. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 449.