ON the first few days of a course I was taking, it was all I could do to attend class and prepare for the next day's work. Following each evening's and each full morning's study, I would snatch a quick lunch and rush to an afternoon of class. Before launching into one particular evening's workload, however, I finally took time out to pray quietly. I was struck by Christ Jesus' words, found in John's Gospel: "I can of mine own self do nothing. I realized that Jesus depended wholly on God in every aspect o f his life. And as I prayed, something of the Christly understanding that was the source of all Jesus' inspired words and works quietly dawned upon me. I saw that it was the infinite divine Mind, God--not a little human mind, me!--whose intelligence and capacity to cope would meet my need. Jesus' life made plain that as we're willing to put off the belief in a mind apart from God, we can demonstrate that limitless divine Mind is the source of our intelligence.
The next day proved that taking the time to pray is productive! Besides being able to absorb what I studied far better, I also finished my preparation for class with time to spare. I was able to do some shopping and to eat a relaxed lunch. And I walked calmly into class that afternoon! Yet such detail only hints at how unbounded by time I felt that day. Instead of being governed by the need to complete too much work, I felt able to attend to everything there was for me to do.
While I haven't always felt like that in the years since then, I have found that to the degree that I prayerfully put God first, I am more independent of the oppressive dictates of time. Inevitably, the more we discover that the spiritual nature of being really is eternal, the more we are able to experience practical dominion over time constraints and deadlines. There's nothing to compare with the freedom that comes from a real yielding of human efforts to God's government of our lives.
Each of us can make some demonstration of this right now, however small. But the meek thought that bows to God doesn't give us an addition of time that we didn't have before. Rather, it improves our current concept of what really governs our activity. Obedience to God frees us from the false sense of time as a dominant factor in our choices and enables us to recognize the truly time-free nature of man's genuine, spiritual being. Then we see something of the fact that our opportunity to do good is unlimi ted. Consequently we will find that our ability to use the time available to us each day is expanded in proportion to the sincerity of our desire to be about our Father's business, doing God's work. As a result, practical ways to improve our use of each moment will come to light. And each time we do this we are, to a degree, breaking through the lie of life as time-based and catching a glimpse of the truly eternal nature of being.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, urges us to begin doing this in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She writes: "Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. This is what happened to me in my course experience. My concept of what each day could include literally stretched in proportion to my conscious realization of God as the real source of my life. As II Peter puts it: "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years.
Our efforts to be of service needn't be hampered by time considerations. We can always improve our understanding of the fact that truly Life is God, who is eternal!