Correcting Mistakes

AS a youngster, I took piano lessons, practicing at least an hour after school and on weekends. Often I wanted to do other things or nothing at all, but I understood the need to practice. Eventually I played well. Mistakes brought discordant sounds to my efforts, so I corrected them over and over until I could play correctly the harmonious music the composer intended. That was what practice was: to correct mistakes until the piece could be played as perfectly as possible, and to bring out the true be auty of the music.

Where did the mistakes come from in the first place? It didn't really matter. I never thought about it at the time. I just corrected the mistakes, working to make my playing match the written notation.

In the years since then, I've learned that the belief that God allows--or even causes--sickness, disaster, death, is a mistake. As in music, the important thing isn't figuring out where the mistakes come from--the important thing is correcting them. The reward for understanding and trusting God's absolute goodness is seeing the perfection of God's creation more clearly, just as in music the reward for correcting mistakes is the beauty of the music.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, speaks of the true nature of God and man in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In it she writes, "God's being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss. And elsewhere in Science and Health she explains: "Man is the expression of God's being. Man, then, can only express spiritual, Godlike qualities. This would mean that fulfillment, security, peace, harmony, bounty, health, joy, are, in reality, natural t o us because they derive from man's creator--our creator--God. Sickness, on the other hand, is not from God. God, divine Spirit, creates, sustains, and governs man in perfection and glory. Whatever claims to hide man's status as the spiritual image and likeness of God is a mistake--is temporary, illusory, and correctable. God never sends disease and pain; He imparts health and bliss.

It's important to notice that nothing happens to the science of music when a mistake is made. The mistake doesn't affect the notes as the composer wrote them, doesn't add to them or subtract from them. It doesn't change the notes in any way. The correction, however, conforms to the existing musical score.

That's true about our lives as well. Health and wholeness are the unconditional state of our being because man is created, established, and governed by God. Praying to understand the true nature of God and man corrects the mistake that says we are sick and brings our lives into conformity with man's established spiritual wholeness--nothing is added to or subtracted from our genuine, spiritual being.

If this explanation of our true identity seems too good to be true, remember Christ Jesus' teachings in Luke's Gospel, where he says, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Correcting mistakes that say we are mortal and subject to mortality's limits acknowledges the kingdom of God within. Just as in music we need to practice the notes to play well, so in life we need to practice being the childre n of God and cherishing the kingdom of God within. As we are willing to keep correcting the mistakes of mortality, our ability to express God in our lives and actions grows stronger.

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