Most of the time we probably aren't even aware of what we're thinking. When asked about his thoughts, a comic responded, "Not a whole lot going on there." But that is not really true. It has been noted that we think anywhere from 2500 to 30,000 thoughts each day. There is a lot going on there and what we think must matter.
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.
Quite suddenly the words of Psalm 46 came to me, "Be still, and know that I am God". I was startled at first. The redirection of thought seemed to come out of nowhere. But then I knew it was God's message for me. It had to be because I hadn't originated the thought. It was revealed. And as soon as it came to me the pain I was wrestling with vanished. One simple thought of God - in fact, one simple thought from God - completely canceled out a week's worth of critical thoughts and the pain that followed them.
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.
NOTE: My dear friend and colleague, Kay Olson, has passed beyond the horizon where we can see or hear her. But her powerful healing insights and love for us remain to bless. This post was Kay's last. Her clear perspective on God as the unending source of life and good always blessed her, and it assuredly continues to open her to wonderful experiences and progress. I will be thrilled to sit down and chat with her one day about all the great adventures we have had since our last conversation. In the meantime, we have a whole lot of joyful living to do in our own corners of the divine universe.
If you would like to read more of Kay's invaluable contributions to the blog, simply write her name and click on SEARCH in the bar at the top of the page. You will find even more by searching www.jsh.christianscience.com, a subscription site that offers full access to many items published by The Christian Science Publishing Society.
I know how much you have loved Kay's posts. Her wisdom, wit and rich experience have helped us all. Whatever she is up to now, you know it has got to be good!
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I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no