THE announcer's voice boomed out the message that the next train would not be stopping at the platform, yet the woman sitting next to me got up as the train approached, and then looked disappointed that it had gone by. Had she really not heard that clear message! As she sat down again I noticed a little wire passing from her pocket to her ears. I realized she had missed the message because she had been engrossed in the music on her personal stereo.
The incident brought to mind how easy it is to become a message-misser of another kind. If we're too busy paying attention to what the material senses report, we miss the happifying, reassuring, healing messages constantly coming to us from God. The physical senses report sickness, lack, unhappiness, and helplessness. God, the divine Mind, is always communicating well-being to each and every one of us as His dear children, freely revealing the spiritual idea of man's unadulterated relationship to His heavenly Parent. Paying attention to God's message changes our lives because it shows us what is actually true about us right now.
Christ Jesus lived a life of prayer. He knew the spiritual truth of man's constant accord with ever-present, ever-active divine good. His certainty of God's power and presence resulted in the overturning of the evidences of mortal sense. This was how Jesus healed all kinds of sickness and inspired moral progress.
Through prayer we can turn away from troubling circumstances and open our thoughts fully to the goodness of God and His reflection, man, who the Bible teaches is made in His image and likeness. When thought responds wholeheartedly to the divine Science of God and man in this way, it draws spiritual strength, wisdom, and love directly from divine Mind, God.
Writing of God as divine Truth and Love, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happi- ness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts'' (p. 261).
This glorious, liberating willingness to direct our mental attention rightly is effective to produce healing, whether the ``body'' is our human body, the body politic, or a church body. This is not positive thinking but yielding to the divine demand to look straight into the heart of divine Truth and Love and gain the Science of God's message of the spiritual and perfect state of all things. Then healing occurs.
That's what I found when I woke up one morning recently with the feeling that a case of influenza was developing. At first it was hard to pray and study the Bible and Science and Health, as I am used to doing first thing each day. I battled against the deep drowsiness, though, and insisted on working to give my attention to God in prayer. As I prayed and studied I became progressively stronger and clearer in my thinking. In under two hours I found myself fully attentive to the facts of God's reality as related in the teachings of Christian Science. The gathering storm clouds of sickness evaporated, leaving me free to go to work and have a productive day.
Prayer that fixes our attention on God's infinite goodness does so much more than just comfort us. It lifts us to the demonstration of man's spirituality. Such devotion is an important element of true worship. It is God-glorifying and not self-serving. Above all, grasping the reality of infinite, spiritual good brings us into line with the truth of creation, and this true vision blesses all.
Christ Jesus spoke of the blessing of devotion to Truth. Referring to the willingness of his disciples to accept the spiritual facts he taught, he said, ``It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven . . . . Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear'' (Matthew 13:11, 16). We all have this ability to understand God.