Religion In Fast Forward?

IS it possible to put religion into fast forward?

That is, can we seek out the spiritual truths found in the Bible and make them our own in less time--much less time--that was once required? Can we have "instant church so that we'll have more time for family and business concerns?

Ouch! Put like that, such a thought hurts, doesn't it? Even though it sometimes seems as if we're looking for quick observances rather than real spiritual growth, deep down we know the worship of God is not something that can be packaged into some tidy, convenient compartment in our lives. Genuine spirituality is a minute-by-minute calling, something we cherish throughout the day and nourish throughout our lives.

Do you think that the pace of life was much slower in Biblical days, so slow that there was ample time for religious thought and practice? A small incident in Christ Jesus' life indicates otherwise.

Remember the story of Mary and Martha? Jesus was staying with them, and Luke's Gospel describes Martha as "cumbered about much serving, while Mary was sitting and listening attentively to Jesus. To me that word cumbered describes much of what happens when we get too busy today! All of us have daily responsibilities, just as people always have had--as Mary no doubt did. But a burdened, cumbered mind-set can cause us to neglect what really is the most important thing--learning more about God.

An infinite God cannot be compartmentalized. He can't be nibbled at when it's convenient or taken as a dose or "gotten in any way. God is divine Life itself, and this Life is the creator who, as the book of Isaiah puts it, "stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. Since God is divine Life, however, and man is His spiritual creation, man is not ever separated from Life, not ever separated from God. Man-- our real, spiritual identity--is always under God's lovi ng care and direction. This should prompt us to reconsider our own daily lives. We can't continue to think of God in His "designated time space in our week or our day, and then roar out into the traffic of conventional living.

Since God is the creator, it's only natural that our lives should be conformed to Him. Of course, this doesn't just happen. We have to put forth strong effort to this end. But when we do this, in the long run our lives are happier and more productive.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, shows in great detail in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures how we can know God and express Him in every part of our lives. But we won't be able to gain the depth of understanding that's required by quickly reading any book. "Although this volume contains the complete Science of Mind-healing, Mrs. Eddy points out in Science and Health, "never believe that you can absorb the whole meaning of the Science by a simple perus al of this book. The book needs to be studied, and the demonstration of the rules of scientific healing will plant you firmly on the spiritual groundwork of Christian Science.

The things of God require more than a "simple perusal or a cursory acknowledgment in our lives. That's because existence is God-centered, not man-centered. As we embrace God's presence more fully, He gives wonderful new meaning to our lives. It's not a slowing down or a speeding up. It's a new spiritual perspective that begins to remove human limits and to show us a bit about the eternal and infinite nature of God and all of His creation.

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