To Hear and Follow Our Shepherd's Voice
Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.
FOLLOWING the news these days is like following a nightmare-daily disasters, gory murder cases, mass destruction, are the coverage of the day. Not long ago, I realized that I was listening closely to the news and reacting with a feeling of hopelessness over the future of the whole human race. I had to ask myself what voice I was following, and I couldn't honestly say it was God's! This brought me up short, and I saw that I needed to get closer to God, our divine creator, and to follow His guidance if I wanted to understand that the real world, the real universe I live in, is His totally good, spiritual universe. God's allness, His spiritual perfection, is never touched by the life of sin and mortality the newscasts were impressing me with!
My thought had to be lifted out of the rubble and ashes of the unreal, material world into seeing the reality of God's harmonious world of spiritual ideas. Happily, I knew I had the help I needed right at hand. Christ Jesus came to free the world of the darkness of sin and mortality with the light of divine Truth. In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us, "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. . . . My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (10:14, 27).
I resolved to turn away from evidences of an evil power apart from God, and to gratefully, prayerfully, listen to and follow Christ Jesus' teachings and example. I could see that in order to be happy and truly wise I needed to listen for God's voice at all times-as Jesus did-and to heed no other voices, to rely on no other guidance.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, knew so well what it means to listen for Christ to guide us. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she writes, "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness" (p. 332).
As I prayed to do a better job of following God's Word, I remembered the prophet Elijah, who, we read in First Kings, fled from persecution to Mount Horeb, searching for God's guidance. There on the mountain, wind, earthquake, and fire passed before him. But none of these was God speaking. Then he heard "a still small voice" (19:12) and followed God's directing. Mrs. Eddy refers to the search for God when she urges in Science and Health: "We should strive to reach the Horeb height where God is revealed; and the corner-stone of all spiritual building is purity" (p. 241).
Striving for purity of thought, I realized, is a totally spiritual process. It is seeing ourselves as we are-as the spiritual, perfect children of God. Doing this, we turn away from any self-centered belief in a matter-based bodily existence apart from God. We reflect only the Mind that is God, in which there is no conflict between good and evil thoughts because God, Spirit, is wholly good.
When we are following what we know reflects God's goodness and love-what expresses His divine order-the belief of an evil power ceases to have a hold on us, and we can say to it, "I'm not impressed with what you are saying because I know it is a lie." Our God, the one Mind, knows, sees, and creates only spiritual ideas, indestructible and perfect and eternal. God's reality is all the reality there is! Our unceasing prayer shows us this, shows us God's world of spiritual reality, in which all is like Him, good.
When we follow Christ, we can expect God's will to be done. We have this comfort and guidance when we listen for our Shepherd's voice to bring us safely into our fold of peace and harmony that is God's real world!
If thou wilt be perfect,
go and sell that thou hast,
and give to the poor . . . :
and come and follow me.