Following Christ, net-free
When we truly go all-in with our prayers to glimpse spiritual reality, the healing effects are tangible.
Mired in a project, I prayed for patience, guidance, and compassion. Things improved a little, but I was exhausted when I finished. Some months later I launched into a similar project. This time I found myself exclaiming, “What fun! I feel so blessed!”
What was it that changed?
This question makes me think about when Christ Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, and he saw two brothers fishing. He said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Simon and Andrew dropped their nets and followed. James and John, also brothers, were mending their nets when Jesus called. They, too, left their nets and followed.
How different would these disciples’ experiences have been if they had dragged their heavy nets through temples and cornfields as they followed Jesus!
Since the divine nature that Jesus embodied is eternal, it must still be present today. So we, too, can actively follow Christ. We can actually strive to be Christlike.
During my first project, I thought I was following Christ, but I didn’t leave my “nets.” I was praying from the basis of a grueling project, limiting myself as frayed and frazzled little me. There’s something inconsistent in rallying spiritual truths to help us tolerate physical conditions. The same goes for expressing a quality such as patience as though it’s some kind of patch for a problem. Spirit, which is a biblical name for God, doesn’t “mend” the physical or make matter more palatable. Spirit dispels limitations of matter – because there is no matter in infinite Spirit.
Things are different and much better when our starting point is Spirit and our undivided focus is on following the Christ-example, rather than brooding over the problem at hand. We can follow Christ right out of a limited, burdened sense of living into the recognition of spiritual freedom, here and now. That’s what I experienced during the second project.
Whatever we’re rightly required to do, God empowers us to perform our part with grace and joy. So in our prayers, are we focusing on tangled nets that need mending – or Spirit? Let’s drop those nets and follow Christ.
Adapted from the March 16, 2022, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.
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