Burdensome Lot Or Good Heritage?
MOST people's lives these days seem anything but simple. Many feel overworked, with little time to enjoy life. Others are struggling with unemployment in the face of mounting expenses. The challenges we face, of whatever kind, would have us feel there's no escape. They would intimidate us into thinking we have no choice but to accept our so-called lot in life. While the answers to our troubles may not be easy or, sometimes, even remotely evident, we don't have to settle for frustration or hopelessness. We have recourse to divine justice and to a higher, spiritual sense of who we are as God's offspring.
If there were no God, then we would pretty much be stuck unless rescued by some unpredictable good fortune. But if God truly exists as our omnipotent, loving creator -- and He does -- then we're not at an impasse, even though it may seem that we are. We're not trapped, because God's purpose for His creation is good.
God doesn't intend for His children to be frustrated. In fact, He doesn't create man subject to frustration. The belief that man can be frustrated or overburdened stems from the false, materialistic concept of creation described in Genesis, in the Biblical allegory of Adam. Adam was commanded by ``the Lord God'' to ``till the ground from whence he was taken.''
But the one true God hasn't cursed his creation. What He made is ``very good,'' as the Bible tells us in its very beginning chapter. We learn too in this chapter that God gave man dominion. And the first verse of the second chapter makes it clear that His work is finished. Everything, then, pertaining to our true individuality as God's spiritual image is complete and totally good. This genuine individuality expresses dominion, not frustration.
Referring to the two contrasting versions of creation found in the book of Genesis, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``The first record assigns all might and government to God, and endows man out of God's perfection and power. The second record chronicles man as mutable and mortal, -- as having broken away from Deity and as revolving in an orbit of his own. Existence, separate from divinity, Science explains as impossible.''
The sense of ourselves as separate from God, struggling with a burdensome lot, may seem an unavoidable response to the way things are. But we can begin to cultivate a different sense of things, a perception that's more in harmony with the truth of God's creation, with the truth of our own being as His cherished offspring. Doing so, we won't be naively turning away from reality. We'll be turning toward it. We'll be opening our thought to the tangible spiritual reality of God's care and of our dominion as His image. We'll be standing up for our divine right to feel and experience the good that God is always providing. This must inevitably, irresistibly, have a healing effect. It must help dissolve the false, mesmeric view of ourselves as victims and help adjust whatever needs correcting in our lives.
Christ Jesus said, as Matthew's Gospel records, ``Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.'' Through prayer we can feel the presence of the saving Christ, giving us rest, assuring us of our God-given freedom from oppression. While it may seem that circumstances won't allow a release from the daily grind, we do have the ability to listen to Christ, listen to God's healing message in prayer.
In silent communion with God we can reject the insistent, spurious thought that we're stuck in an inescapable groove of hardship. This will allow the Christ to touch us with a healing message. It will help us glimpse something of our immortal, spiritual selfhood, unburdened and always blessed. It will give us the fresh idea, the clear-cut direction, the healing intuition, that will care for our needs at the moment.
We're never really separated from God, revolving in our own orbit. We're safe in His care, free to express the fullness of His nature. The mortal sense of things says otherwise. But we can refute that false sense, not submit to it. We have a right to take time in prayer in order to refresh ourselves spiritually, in order to glimpse the grandeur of our God-derived selfhood and to learn to express more of that selfhood.
A friend, an experienced Christian Scientist who helped me through prayer from time to time, would sometimes remind me, ``You're not a mortal.'' Certainly she wasn't ignoring the fact that we all seem to be subject to the challenges of earthly existence. Rather she was turning my thought away from the false, limited sense of myself to the spiritual reality of my freedom as God's offspring. This was an immediate help, and as a result of prayer based on this truth I would invariably be healed of whatever was troubling me at the time.
Science and Health states: ``Man is not made to till the soil. His birthright is dominion, not subjection.'' We may have bouts with feelings of subjection. But because God gives us dominion, we can overcome those feelings and the circumstances associated with them.
``The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage,'' the Psalmist sang. We have that good heritage, too, and it's our privilege to find it out.