Quit Acting!

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Emotions were running high. She yelled hysterically, "Leave him alone!" as she held him close and tears streamed down her face. It was clear that he was dying, and she clung to his hand while they shared this final moment.

Then the video clip ended, and the scene returned to a talk show set, where the two actors, alive and well, smiled in their big, comfy chairs, obviously happy with how well the scene had turned out. Interestingly, while looking on, the actors had reached across their chairs to hold hands - a sign to me that despite their familiarity with this scene, watching it had made them experience strong emotions.

It occurred to me later that daily life often affects us emotionally. At times we may find ourselves bogged down by overwhelming emotion and seem unable to change our way of thinking or lift ourselves out of depression. Anger, fear for the future, disease that threatens to challenge life itself, all set the scene for uncertainty and angst.

However, it truly is possible to remove yourself from such scenes, to stop acting the part and to start living your real life as the son or daughter of God. The Christian Science textbook says, "The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 316).

The actor in that movie had never really been shot or been dying, not even for a moment. The actress had never really believed that her friend was in any danger. Well, on a broader level, when we see that God has created all existence, and that His creating is always good, we can no longer believe ourselves to be in trouble.

In one message to members of the Christian Science Church, Mrs. Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, wrote, "Earth's actors change earth's scenes; and the curtain of human life should be lifted on reality, on that which outweighs time; on duty done and life perfected, wherein joy is real and fadeless" ("Message to The Mother Church for 1902," p. 17). This is what is required when any challenge of human life seems to be pressing down and creating a horrible scene. We need to lift the curtain of our thought to see the true nature of life. God cares for us and provides for every need of each of us. Instead of acting out desperate lives, we can "act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being" (Science and Health, Pg. 264), and see evidence in our lives of the joy and peace that are really ours by divine right. We can in this way find healing.

By turning to God I was healed of a bad headache that had relegated me to my bed. After I found that I could not sleep it off, I sought to turn my thoughts away from the pain and discomfort and to focus my attention on what I knew to be true about myself from having studied the teaching of Christ Jesus. He said to his followers, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Jesus showed that God is our all-loving Father. I really caught a glimpse of myself as a child of God, and saw that His creation could only be completely good and perfect.

I was indeed then able to raise my thought out of this sad scene I was playing a part in - something right out of an advertisement for some headache medicine. My turning to God in prayer changed how I was viewing myself and brought the realization that God had never made me a party to that pain and stress. God would never allow this for His child, so it literally could not be true for me. This change in thought brought a corresponding change in my health. I saw myself as untouched by and free from pain. The headache ended. I was able to sleep peacefully.

Each moment is the right time to turn to God in prayer and change our thinking; to stop acting out scenes of sadness that are not of God's making.

You can visit the home page of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, at (www.tfccs.com).

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