Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
I recently read a manuscript about the founder of the Monitor. It portrayed her life as involving one difficulty after another. Although Mary Baker Eddy did face many trying circumstances, the biographical draft I read was badly skewed, highlighting her trials as though they overshadowed her achievements of discovering Christian Science and writing "Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures."
Echoing the words of Christ Jesus, that "in the world ye shall have tribulation" (John 16:33), Mrs. Eddy herself pointed out that any individual might seem to find the odds stacked against him or her while seeking salvation according to God's demand (see Science and Health, Pg. 22). Yet she confidently went beyond this in saying, "When the smoke of battle clears away, you will discern the good you have done, and receive according to your deserving."
Eddy isn't alone among public figures whose lives have been misrepresented. Yet, even if we're not publicly scrutinized, even if no one is ever going to write a book about us, we may find our own lives being misinterpreted. Where? Right within our own thinking!
Do you find yourself overly focused on past, present, and potential problems - at the expense of appreciating the good in your life? There's an important reason why this doesn't have to continue. Viewed spiritually - that is, seen from God's perspective - your problems and struggles are not ultimately the realities they seem to be. You can progressively prove them unreal, through prayer that not only expects but brings about actual healing.
Science and Health discusses how all can learn to pray this kind of healing prayer. It is not ritualistic or formulaic, but it does begin by acknowledging what's real and what's not real. The Bible states that God is good, and that in our true, spiritual identity we are made in His image, after His likeness (see Gen. 1:26, 31).
God, then, is not responsible for subjecting us to any trial, let alone to a whole bunch of them! As God's image, you are only subject to and governed by divine laws of good, of peace, health, and harmony. In prayer you can bear witness to this perfect identity as the son or daughter of God's creating. Coming to understand this, living according to it, you'll find things in your life changing for the better. You might call this "spiritualizing" your life. It's a little like lighting a torch on a dark night; it illumines the good that's there, prompts changes you may need to make in your life, and brings healing of troubles such as sickness and immorality.
Experience shows, however, that instead of our turning on this spiritual light, it can be awfully tempting just to mull over the darkness, focusing on the details of our own and another's problems. But doing this distracts thoughts from God, the one dependable source for effective solutions and healing. While there is a need for an honest awareness of the challenges we face, as well as for compassionate caring about the difficulties of our neighbors and the world, healing through prayer does not come through dwelling on adversity. It does come through resting our thought in the understanding that God is perfect and that we must express His divine perfection.
Jesus understood this so clearly. Again and again he proved that knowing God as all-loving and completely powerful brought practical change to human lives. He showed that the evils we face, or dread facing, aren't real to God. That they involve mistaken views of the perfect, untroubled man and woman whom He creates and knows. Jesus clearly exemplified our spiritual state of being.
The unshakable confidence Jesus had in God under all circumstances kept him safe from a crowd wanting to kill him (see Luke 4: 28-30); it gave him the wisdom to answer people trying to trick him with his own words (see John, Chap. 8); it enabled him to heal and redeem countless people from sickness and sin; and it equipped him with the love that lifted him from death to resurrection. In all these ways, Jesus proved the truly unchallenged status of the man and woman of God's creating.
Even amid the "smoke of battle," our real being involves the uncontested fact of immunity from trouble.