What guides you?

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

Today's decisionmaking demands can overwhelm even the practiced multitasker. Decisions about careers, job changes, retraining, retirement. Choices to make about healthcare, health insurance, and caregiving. Answers needed about marriage and relationships.

The numbers of those facing decisionmaking stresses are multiplying, too. As the people of China, India, and other industrializing countries enter the modern marketplace, they encounter life's modern problems, including the time and peer pressures that often accompany decisionmaking.

To be sure, a billion or more people still have few choices to make. They must first grow or buy enough food for their families and then take care of other basic needs. But the poorest, too, face some wrenching 21st-century decisions – whether to stay on the land and in villages or migrate to a city in hopes of finding jobs.

Words that have echoed in the Scriptures over centuries sound contemporary: "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision" (Joel 3:14). Since so many of us today live "in the valley," how can we make better choices and help others find peace and direction?

Christ Jesus promised that a universal Comforter or Advocate would come to guide humanity "into all truth" (John 16:13). The divine Science, or full truth of the Christ, discovered by Mary Baker Eddy and fully explained in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,' has fulfilled Jesus' promise. This divine Word – God's message coming to human hearts in all its specificity and comforting assurance – is the surest of guides. It's speaking right now, gently, clearly, in ways anyone can discern and confidently follow.

The Bible is the medium and the message of God's Word. It conveys God's message of hope and healing, giving answers to those who take their questions to God as they read its pages or consider its truths in prayer.

The first of six tenets, "important points" in the theology of Christian Science, establishes humanity's right to one-to-One communion with God through the divine message. It states, "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life" (Science and Health, p. 497). The "we" in this statement may include all who are searching for the spiritual laws of life. It embraces everyone who wants to find the Source of all good – to live by its ordering Principle, to feel its loving guidance. These desires burn within everyone in decision's valley.

God is a profoundly caring listener. And the Father-Mother's response to any sincere query comes as the seeker goes to the Bible with a purified willingness – willing to be informed, reformed, awakened, enlightened, surprised, stopped in his or her tracks.

Do you have to be a Bible scholar to hear or sense God's guidance? No, but a steady gain in biblical literacy helps anyone who's searching for answers. Bible resources abound. One go-to resource is the Christian Science Bible Lessons. These weekly lessons are a denominational product with universal value and they're available in print, audio, and electronic editions.

But the most immediate resource is your own prayerful asking for God's guidance. Woven through the first tenet of Christian Science is the assurance that everyone deserves and can develop a close and satisfying relationship with God. We gain this intimate relationship with the Infinite as we attain a more infinite concept of ourselves as Spirit's image and likeness.

A spiritual image cannot help hearing the Mind that created it, that gives it life and purpose. And the "eternal Life" spoken of in the first tenet isn't a far-off destination for the holy few. It's God's intelligent presence, now and constantly informing the seeking heart.

Mary Baker Eddy described God as "our helper," and noted: "He pities us. He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers" ("Unity of Good," pp. 3-4). We can feel guided through any decision because God knows all, and each of us reflects the All-knowing. The inspired guidance you need awaits you in His Word.

Adapted from the Christian Science Sentinel.

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