February 27, 2012

It is the tendency of the human mind to attribute meaning to nearly everything – events, sensations, circumstances, etc.  This cause and effect relationship can seem like an endless loop of speculation and maybe even misinformation.

What if issues, problems, even health conditions don’t have any meaning?  That may be a startling proposition, but consider with me for a moment that there is only one true Cause and effect.  Imagine how freeing that might be!  For example, what if that sharp pain in your body doesn’t mean anything?  Or something that happened in your childhood?  Or losing your job?  Wouldn’t you be relieved?  Wouldn’t fear be eliminated?

What if all the drama of day to day living was just a distraction obscuring an eternal spiritual solution that safely resolved every situation?  This is how Jesus saw existence.  He wasn’t distressed about events or circumstances – not even his own.  He saw clearly – and enabled those around him to see – that every problem, no matter how big or small, could be healed.   Because the original meaning of creation was unchanged, its original goodness intact.  (see Genesis 1)

For example, to those around him, a couple of fish and very few loaves of bread meant that the multitude was about to go hungry.  But to Jesus it meant that God provides generously for all. And everyone ate and was filled. (see Matthew 14:15-21 )  To Jairus, the condition of his daughter meant that she was dying – in fact she appeared to die while Jesus was delayed in coming.  But to Jesus, all of the wailing and scorning – and even the unmoving body of the little girl – meant nothing.  Instead, Jesus found his meaning in God who is Life.  And the little girl was restored.   (see Mark 5:22-24,35-42)

What Jesus did, although seeming miraculous, was simply to understand that there was a higher truth, even a Science that actually determined meaning.  He didn’t accept the surface presentation of things; he went straight to God’s outlook – and this correct view healed deformity, disease, even death.

We can learn from Jesus’ example.  We can seek that same higher truth to tell us what’s really going on.  And in so doing, we can begin to be free from the constraints of events, sensations, and circumstances.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Don’t speculate.

February 23, 2012

The online website, Dictionary.com defines speculation in part as: the contemplation or consideration of some subject; a conclusion or opinion reached by such contemplation.

Often speculation accompanies bodily conditions: what is it?  What caused it?  Where did it come from?  How long will it last?  Is it dangerous?  As normal as this line of questioning seems to be, it is not productive.  What it tends to do is encourage thought to search out and then to find disease.  And coupled with the anticipation and discovery of disease is fear.  Fear is neither a good nor a healthy mindset!

Yet, say you, what if there really is something terribly wrong and it needs to be caught in time to treat it!  Ahh.  Therein lies the opportunity for a whole new view of health and the body.

What if, instead of speculating about material conditions, you shift thought to consider spiritual conditions like hope and harmony?  Or even bigger concepts like Spirit itself.

Turning thought away from the body results in less concern about the body.  That doesn’t mean you ignore discordant conditions. But dwelling on them and speculating about them doesn’t alleviate them.  It’s actually possible to challenge pain and disease through prayer – through thought focused on affirming and understanding God and His laws.

By doing so, you can bring to the body those spiritual ideals that you’ve been considering in place of material conditions.  You can replace pain with joy.  You can replace disease with health.  You can replace fear with hope.

The fact is you can control your body much more effectively through spiritual thinking instead of material speculating.  Try it, and see if you don’t agree!

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

No Fudging the Facts

February 11, 2012

4.  Four. IV. Plus the many iterations in a variety of languages. But they all mean the same thing: a complete concept that doesn’t change or decay, nor is it inconsistent or variable.  And there are an infinite number of ways to get there: (2+2) or (3+1) or (1+1+1+1) or (.0002 +3.9999.)  Oops, that last one is not a pathway to 4!  It’s really, really close – and the difference is practically negligible.  But the fact remains that there is no place nor time nor circumstance nor event nor person who will ever make those numbers equal exactly 4.  To fudge on that is to mess with scientific precision, causing ever greater mistakes down the line.

And so it is with God’s child, you and me.  There are an infinite number of ways for God’s sons and daughters to express Him, but each one must always be the exact, unchanging, and perfect reflection of the exact, unchanging, and perfect God.  No fudging, no mistakes down the line.

Why is there mathematical certainty underpinning God’s relationship with His children?  The best information about that comes from the Bible.  And the very first fact about it, found in the first chapter of Genesis, is that God made His beloved offspring exactly like Himself: in His image and likeness is what the King James Version says (1:26).  Scientific verity #1: man (generically speaking) is like his Maker.

What does the Bible say about this Maker? The Apostle James declares that God is invariable (1:17); and 1st Chronicles makes the point that God is good (16:34).  These are just a few of the amazing facts about Deity you’ll find in scripture. Scientific verity #2: the created is invariable good, just like the Creator!

Jesus, the final authority on God and His creation, states this unequivocal imperative: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt 5:48).  Scientific verity #3: like parent, like child.

And just like that faux pas listed above which will never equal 4, no mistake, no matter how negligible will ever enter into the equation of perfect God, perfect man.  There’s just no room for imperfection in perfection.  There’s just no fudging the facts.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

The Hundredth Sheep

February 7, 2012

In honor of the story in this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson from Luke 15:4-6:

The Hundredth Sheep

Rosanna Woodard

 Love, let me, like the hundredth sheep, come back.

Pride’s towering mountains loom so grim and black.

I stumbled on the stones of stubbornness,

Refused Thy guiding staff, Thy rod’s caress.

But here the chasms yawn before me deep.

Wolves howl.  Thorns tear my flesh.  The rocks are steep.

I am so weary with the road I roam –

Love, seek me out and bring me safely home

To be Thy hundredth sheep.

The shepherd, when he counted up his own,

Was not content with ninety-nine alone.

(So innocent, so inoffensive, free

From taint of error or iniquity,

His sheep dwell safe and warm within his fold –

They never wander in the dark and cold.)

But always, when he counted, he could see

He had a hundred sheep, and counted me

Among the faithful sheep.

Love, let me, like the hundredth sheep, rejoice

That now I hear and hearken to Thy voice –

Abundantly rejoice that heaven’s bliss,

The harmony I have regained, is this:

To know Thy law, Thy government, Thy reign,

Meekly to walk the way Thy Word makes plain.

Love never saw a wayward sheep, or bad.

The loving Shepherd always knew he had

A hundred faithful sheep!

May 1948 CS Journal

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.


February 3, 2012

Recently while making a long drive, I was pondering this statement from Science and Health: “Selfishness and sensualism are educated in mortal mind by the thoughts ever recurring to one’s self, by conversation about the body, and by the expectation of perpetual pleasure or pain from it; and this education is at the expense of spiritual growth.” (260:24-28)  As I was driving, the traffic around me became more and more congested and eventually slowed to a crawl.  This went on for a couple miles when I noticed a police cruiser to the side of the road, and the car he had stopped.  Drivers had been slowing down to take a look at what was going on and traffic was impeded.  I realized after I got back up to speed, that this event exactly described the quote I had been pondering.  How so?

Call the normal progression down the road towards your destination, spiritual growth.  Call slowing down to see what’s going on by the side of the road “conversation about the body.”   Call wondering why the police pulled the driver over “the thoughts ever recurring to one’s self.”  Call getting frustrated with the drivers around you who are slowing down “the expectation of perpetual pleasure or pain.”

In the same way, slowing down to take a look at what’s going on with the body – either your own or someone else’s – impedes spiritual growth.  Being curious about any physical condition, speculating about its cause and prognosis, takes your thought away from God.  Jesus rightly declared the most important commandment to be “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”  (Matt. 22:37)  Doing that naturally lifts and dissolves a preoccupation with the body.  Spiritual growth is the natural outcome.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.