WHEN I was a child, I would tell my mother, "I am going to marry Roy Rogers. And why not? He always rode to the rescue. And the happy ending was guaranteed. As a youngster, I thought Roy Rogers would be a perfect husband.
When I became interested in tennis, my new prerequisites for a husband included tennis player. Then as a young woman, looks and physique became very important husband criteria. My first choice would have been Burt Reynolds, but he was taken at the time.
It wasn't until my marriage failed and I was a single mother raising three daughters that I decided I was going about this process all wrong. I was dating a Burt Reynolds look-alike at the time, and the relationship just wasn't working. I was constantly being disappointed and getting hurt.
Finally I realized that something needed to change: me. And I turned wholeheartedly to Christian Science for an answer. Because I still felt so unsure of myself, I found a loving Christian Scientist who would pray with me. I met with her every Saturday morning for several weeks. Those meetings changed my life forever. She was patient, she was loving, and she set me on the right course. She started me out by showing me how important it is to learn more about my relationship with God.
As I came to see that God is man's creator and the source of all good, I got rid of the myth that someone else rescues us or makes us happy. When we hold to myths like this, the search for that "perfect mate takes on warlike qualities. Surveillance work is done in gyms, bars, sporting clubs, grocery stores, and the list goes on.
Well, as I found, Christian Science offers a breath of fresh air in the smoke-filled battle scene of the dateless and desperate. Dating doesn't have to be desperate when we understand just who we really are and what we already have.
The great need is to look deeper than the earthly view of man as a biological organism that must be satisfied by another mortal. Through our awakened and cultivated spiritual sense, we see our real identity is spiritual and already complete. Then we find release from our frantic efforts to assuage material longings.
Failure or discouragement is not our true birthright or condition. In Psalms we hear that God, infinite Love, is the wellspring of life and of joy. The Psalmist is confident of God's goodness when he says, "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
And Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, urges us to recognize that the infinite, divine source of man's life and happiness is God. Our mission is to express that life and that happiness. She says in her Miscellaneous Writings, "To love, and to be loved, one must do good to others.
If our present actions don't measure up to the true concept of spiritual life, we can do better as we embrace the oneness and allness of divine Life, which is God, and recognize man our--inseparable relationship to Him. As God's expression, we can steadfastly claim, and more consistently live, all the dynamic qualities of God. And we can search out and remove from consciousness whatever false beliefs, habits, or attitudes that would obstruct our manifestation of the abundant Life that is God.
Mrs. Eddy tells us in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color. Every facet of GodMindbeautiful nature, when recognized by us, finds expression in our appearance. Loving ourselves and others-- reflecting God as Love--gives a glow that makeup only imitates.
The more we learn about God, then, the more we know about ourselves, His reflection, and the more we are able to bring to light this true selfhood, which is what Christ Jesus taught. Recognizing ourselves as worthy of God's abundant goodness and as deserving of His unlimited joy and peace, we begin to know ourselves as His successful, fulfilled, and worthwhile expressions.
In my case, as I learned more about God and my relationship to Him, my thoughts became more spiritualized. Gone were material criteria that had to be met. I focused on the spiritual qualities that I now knew were far more valuable. I concentrated on honesty, intelligence, a forgiving and loving nature, warmth, patience, humility, wisdom, and sincerity. But I didn't look for these qualities in another. I set about manifesting them myself. I claimed them, cherished them, and proved that they are mine. I co ncentrated on recognizing myself as loving, beloved, and lovable.
About the time that I was no longer "looking, but was totally happy with my life and my newfound peace, a wonderful man with all these God-given qualities came into my life. This time I was alert to recognize that his qualities were indeed manifestations of God and that his love for me was really God's love coming to me.
Infinite Love cannot be defeated, depleted, diminished, or withdrawn. No child of God can suffer impairment, lack, or impediment in the reflection of God's abundance, which must include all good, all that makes life harmonious and complete.
Recently on a plane trip I struck up a conversation with the man next to me. It turned out to be Roy Rogers! The visit was special but my husband and I have been happily married now for over thirteen years, and it is truly a blessed marriage. He doesn't play tennis or ride horses, and he definitely doesn't look like Burt Reynolds.