Commentary A Christian Science Perspective

Keep your attention on the light

A Christian Science perspective: When we let divine Love permeate our thinking, we are changed for the better.

  • Mark Swinney

Suppose you were inside a cavern and there was a cave-in at the entrance. There would be such utter darkness, along with an immense amount of dust. Then, imagine, as this dust settles, that you perceive a tiny pinprick of light. No doubt you would focus hard on that tiny light beam and work tirelessly to get to it. Even though surrounding you is mainly darkness, that little ray of light would have all of your attention and might give you tremendous hope!

Sometimes, it might feel that life is like that cave: Suddenly the ceiling falls in on us, and we’re left in darkness. At these times, I’ve been encouraged by the idea that in every instance, God, divine Love, is there, comforting and caring for us. And best of all, God communicates His infinite love to each of us. The light of divine inspiration – healing inspiration – pierces darkness, provides hope, and guides us to freedom.

One experience I had years ago illustrated this in a very modest but meaningful way for me. When I was in high school, the opportunity to participate in an activity that gave me a deep sense of fulfillment was unexpectedly taken away from me. I’d never been one to feel depressed and hopeless, but I found myself feeling that way now.

For several weeks, I felt lost. But right at the beginning of the Bible, it says, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). That is exactly what happened. I walked to a park near where I lived. Still feeling so sad and beaten, I prayed. I thought of another Bible verse: “All things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28).

To me, this felt exactly like a beam of light piercing a cave’s inky darkness. All that was required of me, I saw suddenly, was to love God. We are the very spiritual reflection of divine Love, created to love God and each other.

This got my full attention. Following that beam of inspiration, everywhere I went and in everything I did from that point forward – including schoolwork and chores at home – I tried to live the spirit of my love for God. Same with everything I said. I became much more conscious of God’s presence and care for every one of us, and the mental darkness lifted as my love for God grew more than ever.

Within three days, an opportunity to do the activity I loved in a setting rarely open to high school students emerged, and I was selected to participate. This turn of events was just amazing to me; it was an experience full of personal and spiritual growth that has served as a beacon of light for me in much more challenging times.

The founder of The Christian Science Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in the beginning of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings. The wakeful shepherd beholds the first faint morning beams, ere cometh the full radiance of a risen day” (p. vii).

In a dark cave, it’s encouraging to realize that behind even the smallest pinprick of light is the full radiance of the sun. Similarly, behind the smallest beam of inspiration is absolutely all of God and His love. Keeping our attention on that beam of inspiration and letting divine Love permeate our thoughts, we are changed for the better. The darkness may seem daunting, but the light that is God, good, is infinitely more so; and it can lift us out of any darkness.

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