A FRIEND--one who notes this kind of thing--recently told me something about diaries that I found intriguing. Diary entries of teenage girls after about the 1950s focused largely on their relationship with boys. But similar diary entries in the eighteeneth century focused largely on the girls' relationship to God! Of course, such an observation doesn't mean that people today, teenage girls included, don't think about their relationship to God. Neither does it mean that all those in the eighteenth century
thought exclusively about Him and never about their relationship to other people. But I found some food for thought in this tidbit of information. We all keep mental ``diaries"--places where we store precious thoughts, our most heartfelt aspirations, our deepest hopes.
For someone's hopes and aspirations, or thoughts about life, to focus on his or her relationship to God is very significant. We could never go wrong keeping God at the focal point of our thinking. As the Bible says in Psalms, ``How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" If we keep God at the center of our thinking--if we insist on making our spiritual relationship to Him the most important and satisfying entry in our mental diaries each day--then our thoughts can be
a constant treasure to us.
Christ Jesus gives us wonderful counsel concerning this spiritual treasure. He urges, as Matthew's Gospel tells us, ``Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Treasures in heaven, then, would be thoughts of God and His goodness as the center of our lives, while ``treasures upon earth might be fears, resentments, dissatisfactions, and the like. When we m ake room for such ill-willed visitors, we leave little room for our relationship with God.
When we include God in our daily thought, however, we naturally think toward solutions to problems that arise. And this constitutes prayer. When our thinking is wholeheartedly turned to God and what He's doing in our lives, this amounts to a heartfelt yearning to know God better, to see more clearly what He has already done. This can be the richest, holiest thinking that we do. It makes us feel the closeness that is natural between God and His child. And it is truly worthy of a diary entry.
Because God is Himself perfect, His work as creator is already complete. So, prayer doesn't change Him or His creation. But it does help us to understand better the nature of spiritual reality. Prayer doesn't somehow make a bad thing into something good. But through prayer, we can see that the goodness of God and all that He does constitutes reality; and this understanding destroys our belief in evil as real and powerful.
Diary entries--often secret and unspoken--might well indicate our deepest desires. The Founder of the Christian Science Church, Mary Baker Eddy, relates such unspoken desires to prayer. She says in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds."
``Trusting God with our desires" is quite different from giving our thoughts to whatever pops up from the conventional worldly sources. But the results of such trust--God's answers to our prayers--can make great diary entries!