Wednesday, October 11, 2006

You learn something new every day

You know that saying that people spout whenever they hear something they've not heard before? "You learn something new every day."

I've written before about needing to find new inspiration each time we pray (Ping the spiritual GPS). Today I'd like to share an example of this that I found in the testimonial section of Mary Baker Eddy's Miscellaneous Writings, emphasis added by me to illustrate what I mean.

One Monday morning, I awoke feeling very ill indeed. The morning was warm and sultry. I thought I certainly could not wash that day; but when I went downstairs, I found my daughter had made preparations for such work. I thought, "Well, if she feels like washing, I will not say anything; perhaps I shall get over this." After breakfast I went about my work, thinking I could lean against the tub and wash with more ease than I could do up the morning work. I tried to treat myself as I had done before, — tried to realize that "all is Mind, there is no matter;" that "God is All, there is nothing beside Him," but all to no purpose. I seemed to grow worse all the time. I did not want my family to know how badly I was feeling, and it was very humiliating to think that I must give up and go to bed.

All at once these questions came to me, as though spoken by some one, taking me away from my line of thought entirely: How is God an ever-present help? How does He know our earnest desires? Then, without waiting for me to think how, the answer came in the same way, God is conscious Mind. Instantly the thoughts came: Is God conscious of me? Can I be conscious of Him? I was healed instantly: every bad feeling was destroyed. I could see that the morning had not changed a particle, but I was oblivious of the weather. It did not seem that I had anything more to do with that washing. It was finished in good season, while I was "absent from the body, and present with the Lord."

That was the beginning of the battle with sin and self, but at the same time it was the dawning of the resurrection. Since then (over four years) I have had many experiences, some of which seem too sacred to give to the world. False literature has caused me much suffering; sorrow has visited my home; but, through all this, the light that came to me on that Monday morning — that new and precious sense of omnipresent Life, Truth, and Love — has never left me one moment. It was the light that cannot be hid.

MRS. H. B. J., Cambridge, Ill.

--Miscellaneous Writings, p. 430

I'm so grateful for this woman's honesty! What I see here is: she first tried to go over old ground spiritually, to use ideas that had helped her before but not building on them. She could rattle off the words by rote—note the quote marks around them—but this didn't help her. But I believe her reaching out to God opened her thought to spontaneously receiving a *new* idea that stopped her in her tracks.

This new idea was so startling, so inspiring, that it completely riveted her attention. She stayed with it and experienced healing almost as a side-effect. And I like to think that new idea became something that she continued to build on in years to come. Certainly it remained in her memory as a beacon of light.

When you pray today, look for the new. Sometimes for me it's just a new phrase or image, sometimes lately it's become a stream of little snippets I just have to write down as quickly as possible and contemplate later. God is infinite—so you can learn something new every day.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 10/11/2006 08:22:00 PM, Anonymous Veronika Wilcox said...

I find that new ideas are coming to me as I am working with the journal READING SCIENCE AND HEALTH IN A YEAR. It can be quite hard to go over 'old ground' sometimes, but I am finding new treasures as I am digging.
Love, Veronika


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