THE day mirrored my thoughts. It was a dreary and cold winter day. I felt about as depressed and dreary as the day looked. My life just didn't seem to be going anywhere. I was in college and still living at home. Although I loved my folks, I longed for a greater degree of independence. I wanted to be on my own and to live nearer the campus, but I didn't even know how to begin going about it. Financially it seemed impossible, and what's more, I hadn't met anyone I really wanted to room with.
Toward dusk, I decided to take a walk down to a little park nearby. No one was around. As I walked, I began to feel encircled in the deep quiet of the surrounding snow. Alone with my thoughts, I reached out to God in prayer.
My praying was more than just a requesting of help from God. Certainly it was that, too--and I really needed the help. But it went deeper until it was a heartfelt acknowledgment of man's relationship to God, as I'd been learning from my study of the Bible. Christ Jesus, the master Christian, said to his followers, John' Gospel records, ``Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free'' (8:32).
My prayer went something like this. I acknowledged that God, divine Love, was present right now, loving me. Man, made in His image and likeness as the Bible declares, cannot for an instant be separated from God. Consequently, it would really be impossible for me not to feel God's love.
Since God is also invariable good, I--as His likeness, or reflection--must have all the good that God gives, and only what He gives. Spirit, God, gives man spiritual qualities, among which are love, joy, and peace. As I prayed, I began to feel the truth of these statements and to see that they are true about me--about each one of us.
Soon I reached the park and paused to admire a large sturdy oak tree on a hill. As I continued to gaze at the oak before me, I started wondering what there was about this tree that made me see in it such calm fortitude. It had a particular majesty and reminded me of a poem entitled ``The Oak on the Mountain's Summit'' by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. The words became part of my prayer, as I recalled them. The last stanza reads:
Faithful and patient be my
life as thine;
As strong to wrestle with
the storms of time;
As deeply rooted in a soil of
As grandly rising to the
(Poems, p. 20)
Then it dawned on me. This tree was like a promise of the surety of approaching spring! No matter how dreary the scene, nothing could stop the coming spring.
And suddenly I knew that nothing could stop progress in my life either; it was as natural and sure, as inevitable, as springtime. In fact, my spiritual progress was actually perpetual, because it is founded in and directed by God, divine Mind, who is the source of all good in our lives. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy, writes, ``Mind is the source of all movement, and there is no inertia to retard or check its perpetual and harmonious action'' (p. 283). Since God, good, is One and is All, then He is the only Mind, the only power governing man. There can be no opposing power to stop or block--or even delay--God's harmonious activity. Man, God's idea, is the expression of this activity.
Snow was gently falling as I returned home, but my depression had lifted. In fact, I began to experience the joy and freshness of spring, right in the cold! Later that year, I met some wonderful new friends on campus. They had found a home for rent near the university and needed a fourth roommate to share the cost. The situation met my need, as well as theirs, perfectly.
I've always remembered the truth I learned that winter day. God's truth is at hand for everyone, to strengthen and enlighten, comfort and heal. And because God's government is supreme over all, progress in our lives is assured. In fact it's inevitable!