I WAS startled when I was asked to fill in as organist for the Sunday church service. It had been years since I'd played the organ! It didn't occur to me to refuse, however, as I've seen so much evidence in my life that God gives us the ability to use the talents He gives. Wasn't this another opportunity to experience further proof of God's ever-operative goodness? As a Christian Scientist I had learned that God was my true Life and Mind, so playing well isn't a personal achievement, it's acknowledging God, Spirit, as the one source of all being and action. Praying to perceive this fact more clearly brought the lovely sense that I, and everyone, actually express God's holiness and infinite capacities whatever situation we are in.
I was inspired by recalling Christ Jesus' consistent reliance on God. In his last sermon to the disciples before his crucifixion, Jesus said, ''The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works (John 14:10). And he went on to assure us that God manifests Himself in His spiritual idea, man. This means that our being--all being--is the full and complete expression of perfect God, Spirit. As we consciously receive Christ and acknowledge the infinite power of Christ to harmonize and perfect our thoughts and actions, we become instruments of God, Spirit.
These Bible-based truths both encouraged and disciplined my attitude as I rehearsed regularly. I was motivated by a desire to express the spiritual fact that I was an instrument of God, acting to reflect His glorious qualities of beauty, depth, artistry, perfection, and selfless mastery. I understood all these to be eternally mine by reflection from God, who is divine Soul. The Bible tells us of man's inseparability from God, his creator. These divine thoughts wiped out any suggestion that mastery is unattainable for senior citizens (I've passed eighty). I consciously seized and held to the assurance that God doesn't diminish or terminate talents at any point in our lives.
I resolved to put aside nagging fears and trust my Father, God, to motivate my thoughts, hands, and feet. I knew that I needed to give up any sense of being a ''senior citizen'' doing this myself and recognize that God, Soul, is the true performer. As His direct reflection, I express His unlimited, spontaneous ideas.
Some lines in a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal enabled me to know my undated self as always reflecting God-given talents. The end of the first verse seemed an especially appropriate prayer for an organist! ''Take my hands, and let them move / At the impulse of Thy love.'' As did the opening lines of the next verse: ''Take my feet, and let them be / Swift and beautiful for Thee.'' But the last lines sum it up for every situation: ''I am Thine, and I will be / Ever, only, all for Thee'' (No. 324). As God's ''ever'' and ''only'' likeness, I didn't have to recover talent--but I did have to accept that ability is ageless, enduring, constant, changeless, and doable because its source is our loving creator, God, Spirit.
I attributed all aspects of my playing--adaptability, accuracy, freshness, color, grace, and glory--to God, infinite Soul, the source of every faculty. In the same way, you, and everyone, are full reflections of God, divine Life. We all begin to experience God's unlimited goodness by heeding what Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, says in her ''Dedicatory Sermon'' found in Pulpit and Press. There she urges: Reflect this Life, and with it cometh the full power of being'' (p. 4). Perhaps you are an actor, writer, mechanic, artist, builder, farmer, secretary, computer buff, dancer, responsible parent, or lively retiree. Whatever your role, the spiritual groundwork for successful performing can invigorate your thoughts and actions just as it did for me. God's ideas, clearly realized, caused my performance to reflect the sublime.
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