Ten words to live by

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Some words are fleeting, forgettable. Others stay with one, growing in meaning over the years. Two of my daughter's early words fall into the latter category. Speaking in the imperative, with the vehemence that only a toddler can muster, she'd say, "Me drive!"

As commanding as her tone was, I never handed over the keys. There was no need to; she was easy to please back then, spending many a happy hour in the driver's seat - motor turned off and keys out of reach. Heading who knows where in her mind, she'd turn the steering wheel, push buttons, and flip switches. It was interesting to turn the car on afterward - invariably the heat was blasting, the blinkers flashing, and the wipers whirring wildly.

All of a sudden, that toddler is 13. Soon, we'll be growing into a whole new meaning of "Me drive!"

For over a decade now, another handful of words has been growing in meaning to me - ten words to be exact. They come from a sentence in Mary Baker Eddy's "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." She wrote, "This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death" (page 304).

I love that first item in the list - that "divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object." Ten words to live by. Their emphatic tone and the description of them as a part of the "doctrine of Christian Science" tell me that they're a law - not a wish or a promise, but a law - as reliable as the law of gravity.

Here on earth, there's no escaping gravity. You can work with it to stay aloft in an airplane or to pace your descent when parachuting, but ultimately, the law of gravity wins out, and you're back on the ground.

Similarly, Love's law is inescapable. Like it or not, each of us is the manifestation and object - the expression and target - of divine Love. It doesn't always look that way, but beneath the surface, that's the truth - the spiritual fact - about everyone, no exceptions.

Another interesting thing about gravity - and Love's law - is that there's plenty to go around. The fact that gravity keeps my feet firmly on the ground doesn't stop it from keeping folks around the globe right side up as well.

Likewise, the fact that I'm the manifestation of Love doesn't keep my friend - or enemy - from being Love's manifestation as well. There's no limit to Love's expression, and no duplication of it either. Each individual's expression of Love is unique, and divine Love cannot - will not - be deprived of a single one.

There's also no limit to the number of objects, or targets, Love can have. Love loves - everyone, every moment, everywhere. Infinite Love isn't short on supply, so we don't have to worry about anyone else getting our share. In fact, I've found that celebrating Love's love for others magnifies my own.

Think of it. Each of us is the manifestation or expression - the face - of divine Love. But that's not all. Each of us is also the object, or target, of Love. We're Love's bull's-eye - and Love never misses its mark.

What a relief to know that no matter what we do or where we go, right there, Love is loving us. We don't even have to set Love's law in motion; it's always in operation. But we do get more mileage out of it if we accept that it's in charge of us.

I've got a long way to go before I'm living every moment by Love's law, but I've made some headway. Taking those ten words as my mandate over the years, I've insisted on my right to love others and to feel divine Love loving me. Doing so has brought extraordinary opportunities into my life - and the courage to take them on. The adoption of my daughter is a perfect example.

Now, if I can just remember that Love is behind the wheel of her life when she climbs behind the wheel of our car (for real) in a few years, the new meaning of "Me drive!" won't be so unnerving.

I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life ... nor things present, nor things to come,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God.

Romans 8:38, 39

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