Sometimes we may feel confused, agitated, and in the dark. Calling on the divine Mind, or God, for help brings clarity and light.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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Recently my mare became a first-time mom. The delivery went perfectly. But when the newborn foal tried to get to his feet to nurse, the mare suddenly became so afraid and agitated by this new, alien presence in her stall that she wouldn’t let the foal get near her.

Those of us present knew the baby had to quickly get his first important drink of milk, so we restrained the mare. The moment the foal finally drank, the mare “got it.” This was her baby, who needed her care. In a nanosecond her whole demeanor changed. She became calm, attentive, protective. You might say the light dawned.

Sometimes we may feel like my mare did: confused, agitated, and in the dark. We yearn for clarity, for that burst of light that obliterates every bit of darkness.

In situations like that, I find it helpful to remember a powerful verse found in the Bible: “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). To me this says that when we turn to God as the source of all light, then confusion, agitation, and doubt can vanish in a moment.

This idea has always meant a lot to me. Over and over when I’ve needed this light, I’ve asked God to show me what I need to know. This is one way of praying – consciously opening my thought to become more aware of God’s radiant presence.

I found myself in need of this divine illumination when I’d applied to grad school and been turned down by my school of choice. Graduate work truly felt like the right next step for me, but without an acceptance I had no idea what to do.

I’ve learned through reading the Bible and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by the discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, that God is an intelligent, all-knowing, entirely good God. In God’s kingdom, in the spiritual reality of existence, there is no darkness.

When we are cognizant of this reality, we become more conscious of divine light, which reveals to us whatever is needed. Answers and solutions that were not immediately discernible before become apparent as mental darkness – such as ignorance, fear, or negativity – is dissolved by this light.

So one Sunday, I prayed in this simple way: “God, what?” I knew that opening my thinking to the divine presence would shed light on things. What did I need to know to see God’s goodness more tangibly, to find my path forward?

Instantly, the name of a university I knew nothing about came to mind so clearly that I thought, “That’s where I’m going.”

It wasn’t as simple as it sounded. I applied, as I had with the other school, and got rejected again. But because of the light that had dawned for me so clearly, I felt inspired to take the unusual step of writing back and asking the admission staff to reconsider. And I was grateful but not surprised when they said yes and even offered me a teaching assistantship. The opportunity proved to be a perfect fit.

What’s so cool about the light of divine inspiration is that it’s instant. Just as light and dark can’t exist together, problems can’t exist in God’s creation. As we gain a clearer understanding of God as infinitely loving and good, solutions to things that seemed unsolvable are revealed. Jesus showed this to be the case over and over again in his ministry; his spiritual clarity led to instant healing countless times.

This light is always available, even though it may not always be evident immediately. Here’s the reason why, as Science and Health explains: “Divine Science, the Word of God, saith to the darkness upon the face of error, ‘God is All-in-all,’ and the light of ever-present Love illumines the universe” (p. 503).

As we turn in prayer to this divine light, it will show us whatever we need to know. It is constant, reliable. When we call on the divine Mind, or God, for help and yield to this divine illumination, we can watch the scene shift as the light dawns.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.