OUR girls wanted to learn to play the piano. I had taken lessons some years earlier, so I felt I could start teaching them myself. We got off to a great start. In fact, they learned so quickly I could see I needed to start practicing regularly.
Finding a song, I began to play. To my dismay, my fingers would not do what they were supposed to! I remembered fairly well how the song should sound, and I could see that there was only one way for that to come about. I needed to start at the beginning, just as my own teacher had made me do, and play very slowly, getting each note right. I paid attention to the decrescendos and staccatos, counted for correct timing--in other words, I followed the rules. I did this over and over until the true song fully came forth.
In our everyday lives, the Ten Commandments and Christ Jesus' teachings, which urge us to love God and our neighbor, are the rules to follow that bring out the kingdom of heaven on earth. Reading and studying the spiritual import of the Bible show us the way to the correct practice of God's Word.
Mary Baker Eddy discovered the divine laws of harmony, heaven, in her lifetime search of the Scriptures. She shared her discovery of Christian Science with us in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. One of the things I've learned from this book is that not only can mistakes be avoided, but also sickness. For example, Mrs. Eddy explains: ``Jesus demonstrated the power of Christian Science to heal mortal minds and bodies. But this power was lost sight of, and must again be spiritually discerned, taught, and demonstrated according to Christ's command, with `signs following.' Its Science must be apprehended by as many as believe on Christ and spiritually understand Truth'' (p. 110).
Jesus was so endowed with the Christ-spirit that he is our Way-shower. He lived the right, or correct idea of man as God's image and likeness. But Christ, Truth, isn't limited to a single individual. Jesus made plain through example and precept how we can practice this true idea, as well. Certainly it takes diligent and continuous practice to keep the direction of God always uppermost in thought. But it's always possible to renew our practicing and refresh our ability to turn confidently to God.
For example, one night I was fine when I went to sleep. Later in the night, however, I woke up suddenly very ill and in pain. I knew it would be unproductive to rehearse the why and where of sickness. I needed to practice. I got up to read from the Bible. I read the story about how God gave Daniel the understanding he needed to interpret the king's dream (see Daniel, chap. 2). It starts: ``And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.'' Nebuchadnezzar brought in astrologers and magicians to interpret his dreams. But when he could not remember what the dream was, they told him that no one on earth could ``shew the king's matter.'' To them, the unrest was unexplainable. However, Daniel came and asked Nebuchadnezzar to give him an opportunity to make the dream clear.
Daniel turned to God in prayer to understand what he needed to know. Because true rest is found in understanding God, Spirit, and God is All, there is nothing to sustain unrest. The Bible tells us the result of Daniel's prayer: ``Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his.'' And Daniel told the king both what his dream had been and what it meant.
This story helped me pray for myself. I practiced beholding the Christ-idea. I mentally affirmed that rest and peace are as eternal as the eternal God. I saw that God's wisdom and might don't include weakness.
As I continued praying, I understood better the reality of the concepts I was practicing. Within half an hour I was completely free and slept normally the rest of the night.
Just as the perfect song is not lost when a mistake is made at the piano, spiritual power is never lost.
The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal.