What are we convincing ourselves of? by MARCIA HUFSTADER Member, Third Church of Christ, Scientist Every day we are bombarded by thoughts, opinions and advertisements that come to us through friends and all sorts of media. A firm conviction of God’s goodness and all-ness enables us to see through that haze and therefore to think clearly. For instance, there are so many reports that would try to convince parents that children are in danger from all sorts of sources. When I hear such reports, I can either go with that idea, get wound up in fear and worry, or I can stay with the fundamental truth that God, good, governs. God, divine Mind, is perfectly governing all of His children harmoniously all the time. God wouldn’t create His likeness and then not maintain it. Could God ever be absent or unavailable when God is infinite, ever-present Love? All of God’s children (which we all are) respond to His direction and can hear His voice in a way we can understand. There is an unbreakable bond between God and his idea, man. It is much more peaceful, beneficial and accurate to understand God’s protecting, governing power than to fill our thoughts with fear. This peace helps us make better decisions from day to day, and helps us to do exactly what we should be doing. No matter how many times we hear fearful reports, it doesn’t make them more real than God’s caring, loving presence. Our best protection is listening to God, being alert, and using the ideas we receive in prayer.
The Kingdom of God is within you by MARCIA HUFSTADER member, Third Church of Christ, Scientist Asked when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus stunned the listener by declaring it had arrived and was within him (Luke 17). I can imagine their surprise: “Within me! How could that be?” From materialist thinking, this concept is hard to grasp, but Jesus was referring to the man created in God’s image and likeness. So what is it that is “within us”? Each of God’s ideas-man-has within them the reign and rule of harmony governing all. Having the Kingdom of God within is the conscious awareness of God’s goodness. An example would be the sense of peace and joy we feel. Expecting to be aware of God’s goodness, we actually see things differently-we notice the good in others, we experience a calm and sense of purpose. The Kingdom within is the way that Father, Mother, God maintains, sustains and protects His/Her creation on a moment-to-moment basis. Recently, a friend remarked that we need to have confidence in the Kingdom. I’ve been considering that statement ever since. Do I have confidence that the reign of Truth and Life (two of the synonyms Mary Baker Eddy uses to refer to God) is all-powerful, the only source of all good, health, supply and happiness? Do I understand that is the power that governs me from within, given to me from God? We can learn to yield to that power by letting go of preconceived ideas that usually come from matter-based thinking, from which there is concern, limitation and fear. It’s time to rejoice and yield to the fact that the Kingdom of God is within each of us, liberating, directing and supporting our every step. It’s a present possibility!
by MARCIA HUFSTADER member, Third Church of Christ, Scientist A few years ago I was having a tough time working with a particular group of people. We just weren’t seeing eye-to-eye and the communication was very poor. I turned to God, divine Mind, to see what I was supposed to learn from this. The lesson came while shoveling snow late one night. The snow was really heavy; it took a lot of strength time and time again to lift the snow off the driveway. After a while it occurred to me, if the snow melted it would fall right off the shovel and none of this would be a chore. I likened the snow to the load of concern I felt burdened with by not getting along with all these friends – it laid heavy in my thought and life. Melting the snow would be loving each of those individuals so much that the anger would melt and fall away. Just like snow melts with the warmth, anger can’t be in the same place as love. A couple nights later I was out shoveling again. This time I was using a shovel that had high edges. Not only did it hold more snow, but it stayed on the shovel longer. If this snow melted, it would stay on the shovel. Naturally, I then thought about getting rid of the edges in my thought so I wasn’t holding any hatred, frustration or bitterness within. I knew as I got rid of the “edges” in my thought, all those negative feelings would just fall off. I’m grateful to say the bad situation cleared up, first in my own thought, then with those involved. I’ve thought about this many times since while shoveling. It reminds me to love as purely and simply as Christ Jesus loved. His love was so pure and unconditional it healed (melted away) sickness and resolved off-the-mark thinking. It’s the love of God that melts the wrongs of the world and it starts at home.