Life Isn't a Rehearsal!
MY colleague and I have been striving to produce our radio programs more spontaneously. Though all the shows are taped for later broadcast, recently we did a complete show with no rehearsal. That's not to say that we didn't prepare for it--we certainly did! And we felt a marvelous sense of achievement when we finished. As I later thought about what had occurred, I could see why the program had been so successful. ``Well, of course,'' I said to myself, ``we expressed life in its intensity, and life is not a rehearsal!'' That's why we didn't feel worn out. Just the opposite: We felt energized by the work!
There's a passage in the Bible that emphasizes the immediacy that I felt when I realized that life isn't a rehearsal for spiritual progress and salvation. It's where Paul writes in his second letter to the Corinthian church, ``Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation'' (6:2). Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of the Christian Science Church, speaks of this verse in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She says: ```Now,' cried the apostle, `is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,meaning, not that now men must prepare for a future-world salvation, or safety, but that now is the time in which to ex-perience that salvation in spirit and in life'' (p. 39).
Such life--a life that leads to salvation--would be naturally Godlike, spiritual, unlimited, filled with wonder and joy. And each of us can express these qualities, right now, wherever we are. We don't have to plan how to express them, don't need a rehearsal. We can live them by deeply trusting their source: God. God is the unlimited fount of good that is here for us now. From God we have whatever we need--strength, refreshment, happiness--to bless our lives and share with others.
On the very day I had been so inspired by our spontaneous teamwork, a friend visited me in the evening. She was rather depressed. I knew that she had at times considered suicide. I prayed to God to give me the right words to say during her visit. I could in no way plan those words or rehearse the conversation. But I could trust God with my whole heart without outlining how I should act or what I should say.
She poured out all her sorrows and I listened patiently. But even as I heard the tale of woe, I knew that God's perfect, loved child was all that could be before me. God didn't make a depressed, troubled mortal. I could feel and honestly rejoice in her God-given purity and sincerity. As I listened, I assured her in a sentence here and there that she was loved, that God's love was all around her, and that there was nothing threatening her because God, good, has all power. I don't remember the exact words I said, but I do know that they came from the heart. They were not rehearsed or preplanned. They were live words! I felt privileged and grateful for the opportunity to share my joy and love of God with her.
When she asked me about my religion, I shared with her what had brought me into Christian Science. I told her how I have been learning step by step--by studying the divine Science behind Christ Jesus' teachings--the powerlessness of evil and the ever-presence and might of God's love and how that has made me increasingly joyous. She could understand that; she could feel my conviction. As the evening proceeded, her face began to light up. There now was hope and gratitude in her eyes. She left changed. Confident. Happy. You can imagine how happy I felt!
I had experienced the power of trusting Christ to guide my action and words, trusting and loving with that love that embraces all. I felt the blessing that comes from being awake and alive every step of the way.