How do you keep your focus, spiritual consistency, and clarity with so many demands on your time with caring for a family member, teaching, lecturing, blogging, Facebooking, answering email, studying, and healing and all the other things you do? I’m glad, but amazed, you have time for social media, which can consume huge amounts of time if you try to stay up with all your “feeds” and everyone who “friends” you.
It can feel like a lot to keep up with all the responsibilities of practicing, teaching, family, church and friendships. There have certainly been times that I have felt overwhelmed by many things to do. When this has happened, I find that the thing I have often shortchanged has been my prayer and study for my own spiritual growth. And once my own spiritual resources are depleted, I find I have little inspiration or spiritual energy left with which to help others. So I have learned to put my prayer and study time first. It is amazing what that takes care of.
For example, my blog posts give a peek into the workshop of my daily prayer. Some posts take weeks of thought on a subject, little by little each day. Others write themselves in minutes. But every one of them charts the progress of my prayer for me, for my practice of healing prayer, and for the world.
Study, prayer and writing aren’t three tasks to me. They are the same thing. Consequently, things are dealt with in my Bible research, prayer and writing that make my response to patient calls clearer and more direct. Treatment becomes simpler and cases more responsive.
My teaching comes out of this same study, prayer and writing. The ideas developed keep the teaching fresh and the tasks a joy. As for lecturing, I only lecture on topics burning in me to share. Again, that fire kindles in my regular study, prayer and writing. Pretty much every part of every lecture I give is first worked through in a blog post.
When special needs crop up in the family, I sometimes put one or more of my other activities on hold. A temporary pause allows me to give the attention necessary to help my loved ones progress along quickly. But I never, ever neglect my daily prayer and Bible study. That is where my patience is nurtured, along with the qualities of kindness, hope, faith, cheer and support that are the best aid.
Social media is an extension of blogging for me. For all that it gives back to me, I devote very little time to it. Were I to total it in a day, I would say ten minutes – that is five times two minute intervals. I have hundreds of Facebook and Twitter friends. There is no way I could read every post. So I do a quick scan, “like” or "retweet" a few things that uplift and extend the communication of good ideas, post a blog, or share something that makes people smile. Having the apps on the iphone makes it easy to check in and check out , making Facebook and Twitter much less time-consuming than on the computer.
Everyone has to find their own way to balance what is important. A big lesson for me has been to step away from my human tendency to multitask – which translated into doing lots of things halfway – to give focused attention to one thing at a time until it is well done. Then I can move on to the next, finding that one task naturally prepares the way for the next. Eliminating the pressure to “perform” many things at once has allowed for a much steadier flow of accomplishment and better quality results.
If there is any take-away from this little sharing, I hope you see how everything we do needs to be anchored in prayer for ourselves, and in the enrichment of inspiration and spiritual understanding that comes from regular time devoted to studying the Bible and Science and Health. If writing helps you keep focused, then do that, too! With regular prayer and spiritual study, there really are no limits to what can be accomplished in each day. In the words of Paul to the Philippians (2:13):
New International Version
P.S. You might like to check out today's Christian Science Monitor "Christian Science Perspective" article by Barbara Beth Whitewater, CS. She is a Facebook friend and colleague. Her article "One perfect twig at a time" takes on and tears down the fear that we can't get it all done. She writes, "The nest-building showed me how natural it is to expect God to lovingly care for every detail of His creation, one perfect twig – and step – along the way."
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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