Where to Begin Cleaning the Environment

WHEN I've neglected it for some time, housecleaning is discouraging. Where do I begin? But if I choose a corner and get some- thing cleaned, the job appears more hopeful. The neglected house came from neglected thinking. Laziness, disorganization, discouragement, depression, and self-pity were the real dis-order. If I straighten up my thinking, the house gets back in shape with more spontaneity. And seeing a clean area--however small-- encourages me even further.

What is needed to cleanse mental disorder is spiritual regeneration. And the very desire for cleanliness indicates a reaching upward to God, who is Principle, the origin of order. God is also Soul and Spirit. Could one ever imagine Soul or Spirit polluted?

Cleanliness is normal, as nature itself teaches. Wind, rain, and sun work together to cleanse impurities from the environment. This may take years or centuries, but the cleansing process is always in operation. We can help the process move forward with guidance from God, who is the Mind that directs us. Reaching for spiritual thoughts and asking God for solutions bring the spiritual regeneration that is the real purifier.

Spiritually regenerated thinking is as cleansing for our environment as it is for our homes. How did the air, the water, the soil, get polluted? Hasn't it been carelessness, greed, and apathetic thinking that produced the pollution?

We can begin to make a difference for the environment the same way that we order our homes: by starting in a single corner of our experience. Even a little improvement opens a window of hope for our environment. Prayer for God's direction helps immeasurably in our endeavor to express cleanliness. As with housecleaning, the best place to begin is with a good mental cleaning. ``Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me'' (Psalms 51:10) was the Psalmist's prayer.

The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, teaches us how to go about the mental cleansing that so benefits us and our world. She writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love'' (p. 201).

Laziness, self-satisfaction, polluted and degrading views of mankind masquerading as entertainment, can be washed away through spiritual regeneration. As with housecleaning, we need to focus on something that is orderly--to appreciate the good and beauty we have, and value it. If we are either so fascinated or so appalled by ugliness or impurity that it dominates our thought, then thought needs to be cleansed with ``flood-tides of Love.''

I had turned on the television to a program that quickly disgusted me. Yet it was so strange it aroused my curiosity and I continued watching. Was I seeing what I thought I was? Then I couldn't erase the morally offensive behavior from my thought. Cutting off the TV channel at that point was only a gesture.

I knew that one of the best ways to cleanse my thought was to open the Bible, which I did. As almost always happens, I was quickly led by God to turn to what helped most for that situation. I read and prayed and allowed the spiritual message of God's Word to wash me mentally--and it did.

Soon after that I was able to begin participating in an organization that was working for a better standard of morality in television programs. It was just a little step, but it was encouraging to see this opportunity to help clean our environment.

I've also been taking each opportunity that comes to me to value people committed to improving our environment. And I include support of their effort in my prayer each day. I'm finding that being consciously grateful promotes conservation and eliminates waste.

The desire for a cleaner world is a good beginning, for that desire is part of prayer itself. And God answers that prayer in ways that are both inspiring and practical.

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