Letting go of inertia

A Christian Science perspective: Finding a way to take that next step.

Almost everyone wants to see more good naturally developing in his or her life and in the lives of others. But sometimes taking a next step to forgive someone, to step up to a new assignment, or to face down a relentless bad habit seems next to impossible.

The question arises as to how to go forward when a situation comes to a halt with no movement, and it’s easier just to curl up mentally with that new normal. Or things are moving in a bad direction, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to stop it, so it feels fine just to ride the current. Both are forms of inertia.

But inertia can be displaced by prayerfully yielding to God’s spiritual law, which is the all-powerful action – the only real action – of God as Truth and Love. 

One definition of “inertia” is “the property of matter by which it retains its state of rest or its velocity along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an external force.” Another definition uses the phrase “not deviated by an outside force.”

I couldn’t help thinking about how the human mind often sees no reason to move from its limited concepts and opinions. Or how it keeps moving in a certain direction of resentment or envy until it crashes into some stronger form of “self” coming from another direction.

The law of divine Love, God’s irresistible law, although imperceptible to and outside of the material senses, acts upon the inertia of mortal thinking and destroys its apathy or negative action. There is nothing beyond infinite divine Love, so there is nothing to act upon Love to move it from its uninterrupted purpose to harmonize and bring the abundance of goodness into the life of everyone and, therefore, to nations.

The biblical account of Moses and the burning bush is an example of the action of God to move good forward in the life of one man and, therefore, in the lives of many. Moses, a Hebrew, who had grown up in the ease and wealth of an Egyptian palace, felt a calling within to help free his people from slavery under the Egyptians. But what to do? At one point he had to flee for his life after killing an Egyptian who had attacked a Hebrew. He later became a shepherd for his father-in-law’s flocks (see Exodus 2:11-3:1). But there were other things in store for him.

One day while Moses was working, he saw a bush on fire, but the bush wasn’t being consumed. The Bible says that Moses “turned aside” to see why the bush wasn’t being destroyed (see Exodus 3:1-5). To me, his turning aside signified being “deviated by an outside force” to recognize the indestructible omnipresence and omnipotence of God as law always operating to bless regardless of the human circumstances.

At that moment, God told Moses that He wanted him to lead the Israelites out of slavery and that He would be there with Moses to complete this great task. After a mental battle of putting aside self-doubt and God proving to him step by step that He would be Moses’ strength, protection, and guide, Moses eventually led his people out of captivity.

No self-conscious, fearful, or self-preserving thinking could arrest Moses or move him in a line of believing that the current of mortal existence (even a pleasant one) was his real life – his individual expression of God as Life. Nothing could interrupt God’s plan of goodness for Moses and his people.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, wrote, “Man has perpetual individuality; and God’s laws, and their intelligent and harmonious action, constitute his individuality in the Science of Soul” (“No and Yes,” p. 11). Linking our true spiritual selfhood as the image and likeness of Love to the ever-operative harmonious action of spiritual law loosens inertia’s hold.

Maybe we aren’t going to lead a people out of captivity, but whatever relationship, financial, or health circumstances need healing in our lives, God’s law of omniaction can do it. Abiding calmly in the authority of this ceaseless movement and its subsequent peace, untouched by all aspects of mortal existence and material law, we will find no inertia to stop or divert the course of inevitable good that is ours and everyone’s permanent life.

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