A Lesson From Ducks

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Recently, my husband and I took our dinner to a local marina, where we enjoyed the cool evening and watched the water birds and the boat traffic while we ate.

A young boy was having a good time using a jet ski. Observing him more closely, we found he was chasing ducks swimming in the area. I was quite disturbed. It was hard to understand this behavior, which seemed rather cruel. I felt so sorry for the ducks and the disruption he was causing them.

My thoughts continued in this vein for several minutes. Then, lo and behold, one of the ducks rose out of the water and flew away!

I had to laugh. I'd been so totally absorbed by what I was seeing, I'd forgotten that ducks can fly. At any moment they were free to extricate themselves from a situation I saw as their inescapable predicament. Actually, they couldn't have been too bothered by their pursuer, or they would have flown away long before they did.

How often does our vision become so myopic that the presentation is everything to us. We forget that what we're seeing may be misleading, deceptive, or at least not the full story. Conclusions drawn can then turn out to be inaccurate and erroneous.

To be sure that our perspective is accurate and valid, we can ask God to open our eyes to what He sees. Help us understand what He knows. Mary Baker Eddy, who established this newspaper in 1908, came to know God as "All-in-all." She described Him in one place as "the great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 587). We can rely on God in order to translate precisely what we are seeing.

The prophet Elisha must have known this. At one time the Syrians were at war with Israel. Through his spiritual intuition, he warned Israel of the Syrian army's position and saved his people from falling prey to them several times.

The distraught king of Syria then came after Elisha. Rising early, Elisha's servant saw they were surrounded. It looked frightening. But Elisha saw things differently. He said, "Lord, I pray thee, open his [the servant's] eyes, that he may see." Next, "The Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" (II Kings 6:17). We're not told whether the Syrians saw what Elisha and his servant saw. But with God's help, Elisha was able to capture the Syrians without bloodshed. The overwhelming circumstances were proved invalid. Turning to God provided an appraisal of the situation that destroyed fear and brought divine aid and protection.

As in the time of Elisha, seeking God's spiritual guidance releases us from present-day troubles. Understanding spiritually that we are always in the presence of God's power and love, we can challenge what disturbs us and redeem our sense of things. Then we can't be deluded into feeling we're in some predicament. The ever-presence in each consciousness of God's message to us - of the Christ, Truth - is what delivers us from the frightening, deceptive evidence of the material senses.

Even in times of physical pain or illness, a change in our frame of reference (from suffering physically to hearing God's voice spiritually) can bring actual healing. Rather than focus on frightening physical symptoms, we can open our eyes to perceive that God, infinite good, has made us in His perfect likeness. He is with us and is all-powerful.

We should expect healing because it is in accord with the established laws of God. Christ Jesus told his followers, "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). The good laws of God are already established in thought, already part of who and what we are as the children of God.

If you're presented with a grim-looking future, or diagnosed with dire illness; if you're uncertain about a course of action or perplexed about the next step to take in your life, you have help at hand. The divine Mind, God, is with you, in you, leading and directing your thought. Finding Him in prayer, you can draw accurate, valid conclusions and act on them with certainty.

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