IS there something in your life that needs a fire built under it? Perhaps it's a career that needs direction or forward movement. Or a marriage that could use new life and new affection. There is nothing like a new (or renewed!) glimpse of God's active presence in man's life to start such a fire. This is the fire of spiritual inspiration. It gives new spiritual meaning to everything that's worthwhile in our lives.
From a limited viewpoint that needs spiritual impetus, we may fear that stirring the embers of barely recognized spirituality into flame will bring destruction, rather than renewal. But what is destroyed by this "fire of the Lord is actually only the false sense of what God is and does. Isn't this what the Israelites discovered in Elijah's day? First Kings tells us that they had strayed from following the one God and were worshiping Baal, a false god. Elijah, however remained obedient to God and strove t o rouse the people to renewed worship of God.
After Baal's prophets failed to elicit any response from their god, Elijah prayed and was answered immediately and convincingly by the fire of God that persuaded the Israelites to return to worship Him wholeheartedly.
Centuries later Christ Jesus showed us God's nearness to His creation, man. Because man's Father-Mother is divine Spirit, he is spiritual, not material. Even a glimmer of this spiritual fact can revitalize our lives. Remember the marriage feast that Jesus attended just as his healing mission began? The book of John tells us that when Jesus was told that they had run out of wine, he turned water into wine. Can't we see in this an illustration of the radical changes that can come to our lives when we learn
the true spiritual perspective and the inspiration that it brings? Such a spiritual view is actually always with us, waiting to be accepted. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, urges in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "May Christ, Truth, be present at every bridal altar to turn the water into wine and to give to human life an inspiration by which man's spiritual and eternal existence may be discerned.
Once, some years ago, I saw an example of the renewal that spiritual inspiration brings. I was a teacher of adults with learning problems. One day, a new assignment came my way--a class of young men whose experience really seemed to need new life. It was well known at the school that these men felt they were at a dead end. I felt that hopelessness. It hit me as if I'd walked into a wall. But, as I prayed, I saw that since God, divine Life, is the real source of life and energy, the individuals in my new class could feel the vigor and eagerness I had found so natural in my experience. I knew that we all had one Father-Mother who pours out inspiration and love equally to everyone.
I prayed each day to discover ways in which the liveliness I felt as God's child could find expression in that classroom for these young men, as well. Gradually ideas came. We compressed the academic curriculum into a fraction of the day, revitalizing and purging it in the process. We then developed a workshop program that gave the young men great joy. A renewed sense of life poured into the classroom. Eventually some of the students were able to leave the school for homes and jobs in the community.
That feeling of joy and eagerness--the assurance that "There really is something valuable here, after all! is natural when we learn that God and His beloved, worthy child are, in reality, what is always here. And God's spiritual creation certainly has--and deserves--that spiritual flame of love that God gives.