The choice

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

My daughter was one of the leaders on her school's gymnastics team last year. But she wasn't sure she wanted to be on the team again this year. And she was reluctant to tell her mom and me because she thought we would be unhappy. After all, she had been involved in gymnastics since she was a toddler, and now, at the point when her diligence and love of the sport was about to pay off in winning performance, her interest was waning.

(I was grateful for my intuition that there was something troubling her, even though at first she said there wasn't.)

It turned out that while she still wanted to do gymnastics, she wasn't happy about the time commitment and the restrictions it would put on her schedule. There were other sports she had always wanted to do, too, but the door to these appeared shut because of the gymnastics team schedule.

She was confused; and she didn't really like her choices. She was also afraid of making the wrong decision. And she didn't want to disappoint her mom and me. We took some time to discuss the situation together - to redefine it.

I reassured her (and myself) that this was an opportunity for her to get closer to the chief guide for all of us, God. That's all it was really about. That's all that was really important. Today it was about the gymnastics team. Someday it would be about something else. She would always have choices. And the only real choice that matters is the choice to turn to God, who is also the divine Mind, for guidance. God is guiding us continually, if we just listen. One of my favorite Bible passages says: "And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not" (Isa. 58: 11).

I told her what was in my heart: that it didn't matter to her mom or me whether she was on the gymnastics team. All we cared about was what God, who was the Mother-Father of us all, wanted her to do. And that she could find out what God's good and wonderful plan was for her by praying - by reaching out in her heart. By us-

ing her spiritual sense (her capacity to feel God's presence). And by humbly listening.

She has learned that, despite appearances, she is always with God, divine Mind, her creator. And she is learning that, like people in the Bible, she can rely on this understanding of her true identity to help her. She has seen that spiritual understanding conveys practical power and gives her authority in any situation. She is learning that she can have total confidence in the living, active divine Principle we

call God - what Mary Baker Eddy, in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," also called the sustaining infinite: "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings" (pg. vii).

I suggested that it was important to be thankful for the gifts God had already given us - and that she could in confidence pray simply: "God, I don't care whether I'm on the gymnastics team or not. If I am, terrific. If not, that's great, too. All I care about is what you want me to do. What is your plan for me? I'm listening."

I myself prayed that my daughter would see God's love and guidance in her life. Then I was filled with an unmistakable sense of well-being and expectation of good. I knew God's plan for my daughter was in operation and would be revealed to her in the most wonderful way.

I was not surprised (though very grateful) when my daughter came home from school the next day with the sunshiny news of a serendipitous discovery. If she were to try out for the swim team, and make it, the school might make the unusual provision that she could be on both teams simultaneously. I saw that her clouds of confusion and depression had already lifted. She was feeling the promise of expanded opportunity. Divine Love had redefined her choice.

She is now on both teams. But even more important, this was proof for her once again that God guides her continually.

That goes for you, too.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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