Heads up!

As we lift our viewpoint to a divinely inspired one – rather than giving in to the downward pull of discouragement or fear – we discover more of the true wholeness and freedom bestowed on us as God’s children.

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You may have gotten one lately – an email, text message, or phone call that starts, “I wanted to give you a ‘heads up’...” and then offers advance notice about something important.

As helpful as such alerts can be, perhaps we should consider and appreciate them in a deeper way. Rather than as just a warning regarding some potential problem or event, it might be even more useful to view a “heads up” as a reminder from God to not look downward and inward but outward and spiritually upward.

Fear, doubt, and anxiety can drive hopelessness, helplessness, and acceptance of negativity as a “new normal.” Yet the Bible offers this encouraging prayer of affirmation and promise that moves us forward and upward: “Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head” (Psalms 3:3).

Opening our thought to the healing, comforting messages that God is constantly sending, we find ourselves looking into the heights of God’s grace and glory rather than being drawn down into gloom and doom. This is vital in nurturing a healing outlook. It enables us to see clearly how God’s truth dissolves the threats of mortality and ultimately reveals the shining, fulfilled promise of His infinite goodness.

But even better than looking upward to the elevation of love, grace, and glory is looking outward from the spiritual basis of acknowledging God’s allness and goodness. Here, we won’t be blindsided by thoughts that don’t come from God. We’ll recognize God’s love for His children and experience to a greater degree the goodness, security, health, and peace that God provides.

In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, “Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you will rise to the spiritual consciousness of being, even as the bird which has burst from the egg and preens its wings for a skyward flight” (p. 261).

That expectant, skyward trajectory of thought is like a runner’s starting blocks. It enables us to launch toward, and actually accept, the spiritual fact that God, who is divine Love itself, supplies only right activity in all things.

One morning several years ago I awoke with severe pain and stiffness in my neck. An insistent thought came that I was suffering from a pinched nerve.

As I turned in prayer to God for healing, I recalled the Bible’s description of God as divine Love. I knew that nothing besides infinite Love could ever truly be real, and that this fact invalidates pain – no matter how severe.

Another step in moving my thought upward was to stop blaming the notions of age and time as possibly being responsible for this situation. Instead of trying to fix blame, I needed to fix my gaze on the divine reality that God’s infinite, ever-present care comforts and blesses. This truth helped strengthen my understanding that health and freedom are actually permanent, unrestricted, and unshakable because they’re established by God. Nothing could restrict me from knowing – and showing – this.

In two days, the intense pain was completely gone, and it has never returned.

Overcoming the downward pull of resignation, blame, and discouragement is a key element in Christian Science healing practice. Accepting the supremacy of God’s goodness lifts us to an understanding that all evil – including disease, discord, and fear – is, in truth, impotent.

Looking up to God, Spirit, as our loving, divine Parent, we discover that God protects and heals us. Maintaining our courage and calm when we’re facing trouble is more than just putting on our “game face”; it’s also more than being blindly tenacious. It comes from relying solely on God and His Christ and staying spiritually buoyed by divine Love’s luminous messages of hope, healing, and guidance. This elevated view empowers us to maintain our mental and spiritual altitude.

No matter how aggressive or dark things may look, the Christ – God’s healing activity and power – never stops revealing the kingdom of heaven within us. “Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal” could be thought of as nurturing an active embrace of fresh, higher, spiritual views as they come to light through prayer.

So, our willingness to look up does matter – for our own well-being and for our readiness to support effective healing in others’ lives. And demonstrations of healing and renewal, big and little, do follow.

Heads up!

Adapted from an editorial published in the April 4, 2022, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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