In a beautiful garden in Paris sits one of the most famous sculptures in the world, Rodin's Le Penseur (The Thinker). The Thinker depicts a man sitting, arms on his knees, in obvious deep thought. The statue often prompts observers to stop for a moment to contemplate their own thoughts.
Rodin's original idea was to symbolize Man contemplating "The Gates of Hell. " How often do we find ourselves mulling over the day's events or ruminating about the ones to come? I am not so sure that contemplating hell will bring the happiness and progress that most are looking for. Might we be better occupied to think about and listen for God's guidance when worries seem to take over?
Mary Baker Eddy, discoverer of the Christian Science system of healing prayer, pointed out that thoughts wrongly directed tend to produce the very hell we probably wish to avoid. Under the heading "Thoughts are things", she wrote, " If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain; for Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; for Spirit, we find its opposite, matter. Now reverse this action. Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 260)
I learned one of my first lessons in Christian Science one morning when I found myself in pain. I was alone and praying for release. I had been learning that what one entertains in thought has everything to do with the quality of one' s life and health. I made a quick assessment of what had been going on in my thought that week. I had to admit that I had indulged in critical thoughts of my neighbor. I knew it was wrong.
Some people find themselves praying during a morning run or an afternoon walk. Some pray for peace of mind before drifting off to sleep at night. Others find that holding thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true - to messages from the Principle, or God, of happiness, health, and immortality - completely buoys their day with prayer.
Thoughts do matter. And, as we seek God-sent thoughts, they heal.
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