Thursday, February 16, 2006

Fill your thought

Plant kind loving thoughts so thick in a row

That the thoughts that are weeds have no room to grow.

I still remember my Sunday school teacher teaching us that little couplet. I can see her sitting there, much bigger than me, at our round formica table, as she looked down with her sweet motherly smile and helped us memorize the words. I must have been about five because the perspective is of me looking up into her face. And I can hear her gentle voice, which had kind of a quiver in it, reciting the words over and over.

There’s a lot of spiritual wisdom in the idea behind those words, with the power to solve or prevent a multitude of problems. Keeping your thought filled keeps unwelcome thoughts from entering.

I was talking with someone about this discipline yesterday, and she said, It’s so hard! And I said, Yeah, it’s hard if you resist it. If you just agree to it, it’s actually uncomplicated and easy.

I remember another day about 12 years ago, when I decided to think only Godlike thoughts the entire day. I picked the day the night before, and put a reminder by my alarm clock. Then, on waking, I commenced. It was a normal day; I had kids to raise and had to go to work. But I made the commitment to not letting any negative or untrue suggestion about myself or the people around me hold sway.

For example, when someone did something at work that would typically have irritated me, I instead thought of that person as God’s child, as His loved creation. I thought of myself as the loved child of God, too. And I knew then that it was impossible for us not to get along. My irritation evaporated, I could smile, and could work in harmony with one I now considered a friend.

I kept it up all day. I was amazed at how I felt afterward, so light and so energized. And I learned the possibilities of genuinely staying connected to Spirit all day long. Did I keep it up ever after? Not really! But I think my overall proportion of time spent contemplating Spirit increased dramatically starting about that time. And certainly it helped me gain the skill of recognizing un-Spirit-like thinking much quicker.

Your thoughts are your own. You decide what you’re going to think or not think. How empowering is that!

Here’s Mary Baker Eddy’s take on the same subject, written to her students but I hope helpful to anyone:

Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.

--First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany 210:2

It’s not just about helping ourselves, but we can actually help others with this discipline. Try it, for five minutes, an hour, a day. Let me know how it goes!

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 2/16/2006 11:13:00 PM, Anonymous Emily said...

I did something similar to what you're talking about the other day. I decided, each time I got in the car, to randomly single out one other driver in traffic, pray for that person, and think good, loving thoughts about him or her.

If something happened in traffic to distract me, I would take that as my cue to start praying for the driver whose actions had distracted me.

It certainly made the morning commute more pleasant, and I'd like to think that all whom my thoughts rested upon that day were, indeed, thereby benefited, as Mrs. Eddy says.

At 2/18/2006 06:58:00 AM, Blogger joy said...

Thank you Laura, these thoughts are so precious, and it is also a lovely feeling like partaking in Sunday School again.


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