_A blog reader asked, "How does someone move forward, or set goals to achieve something, while allowing life to unfold according to God's direction? I have often found myself doing nothing, because I am waiting to let God do His work."
With her sweet story-telling and clear metaphysics, guest blogger Kay Olson, CSB illustrates that pausing AND moving forward are both important aspects of achieving our goals!
It was just a little problem. But I figured if God really is a “very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46), He is where I am and helps in matters large and small! The problem? My young son couldn’t find his new shoes. I had asked all the children to bring their shoes to the kitchen for polishing in readiness for Sunday School the next day. Where could those shoes be? We decided to look everywhere in the house, but no shoes. It was a sunny Saturday, so I sent him outside where he had been playing barefooted. He came back empty-handed.
_I decided to go outside and take a look myself. I was fairly new to Christian Science and was learning how to pray, so I planned to pray my way. I was absolutely convinced that God was with me and would lead me.
I began by thanking God in advance – the way Jesus’ prayed before he called Lazarus from the tomb: “Father, thank you for hearing me….” (John 11) I figured if a “thanking” prayer was important in a big problem like that one, it would be important in this problem, too. I loved thanking God.
I also decided I would not hunt for the shoes. I would thank God and then wait for His guidance. If at any time I felt I was choosing my steps, I would stop until I was sure, deep-down, that I was being God-guided. You could call it a “two-step” prayer!
My daughter wanted to go with me on this prayer-trip, so I took her by the hand and off we went. We would have looked strange to an on-looker! I kept thanking God as we walked and stopped and walked and stopped and walked until we had walked completely around our house to the stone wall that edge our property. No shoes to be seen.
We couldn’t walk any further - unless we jumped over the wall onto the road on the other side! I was disappointed at first. Then, I looked down. There, on a large rock, were those shoes – placed neatly side by side. Thank you, God!
In Mary Baker Eddy’s ground-breaking book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, is this: “ ….no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and deeds”. (p. 1) It was a little problem but my desire was huge. More important to me than finding the shoes, was my desire to prove that, yes, God is a present help.
_Sometimes in the pursuit of some human goal it can feel like progress occurs in fits and starts. It can be easy to become so focused on the problem that we forget the thing most essential - our relationship with God. But a pause to reflect on God's goodness and to enjoy the present view is never "doing nothing". Periods of reflection on what God is and does for His creation are often an integral part of moving forward. Eddy explains, "Beholding the infinite tasks of
truth, we pause, — wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory." (ibid. 323)
Boundless thought is achieved through the prayer that shifts from human goals - though well-intentioned - to the larger purpose of man to fully reflect divine Life, God, without limits or fear. Limitation and fear are the elements that would confine our best conceptions and prevent them from being realized.
Active pauses in prayer - that replace fear with gratitude, and doubtful, limiting thoughts with confidence in good, - are essential. Such pauses can guide us to move forward, step by step, until we see our goals right there in front of us and fully realized.
Kay Olsen, CSB is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher. She and her husband divide their time between their homes in North Carolina and Pennsylvannia. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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