Have you ever watched a baseball game and seen how the pitcher intently leans in toward the catcher to pick up the signal for the next pitch? Sometimes he gives a quick little head-shake that says: "No!" Then he leans in again looking for a different signal. If it still doesn’t feel right, for sure, he will give another authoritative "No!"
Pitchers have to make immediate decisions about a catcher’s suggestions. Catchers will advise, but it’s always the pitcher’s call when it comes to deciding on which signal to act on. When a pitch finally comes that he can agree with, he will straighten up, set himself, and throw the baseball with all his might.
Sometimes thoughts are presented to us a bit like those pitch recommendations. But how quick are we to shake off the bad ones and ready ourselves for a better idea? I've seen time and again in my practice of Christian Science that folks worry about why negative, unhealthy thoughts have come to them, instead of just simply dismissing them and moving on to a better thought. We do have a choice about the signals we respond to and the ones we simply shake off with a quick and definitive "No!"
I don’t imagine a pitcher scratches his head and asks, “Is it my fault you are calling for this pitch?” Neither does he stand up and take a moment to ruminate, “Why, that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.” No. Pitchers know that not every signal is worth acting on, and it is a waste of time to engage with them in any way.
Have you ever suddenly felt despondent, irritated, confused or sad? “No!” can be a powerful prayer. When saying “No!” to fear, to mulling, to owning negative feelings and behaviors, we can do more than simply go into a state of denial. Every “No!” opposing a negative suggestion can be a big, welcoming “Yes!” to the next better thought. A progressive “No!” includes expectancy that a right idea - a God-authored good idea – is available to be acted upon right away.
This little scene of the catcher and pitcher came to me one afternoon when I was just about to let a silent, mental tirade get launched. I was irritated with someone who was interfering with a project, and I was getting all kinds of signals to react negatively. But instead of being clogged, stymied and sidelined by negative mental chatter, I realized I could say “No!” to the roiling thoughts, and listen for a better idea. And healing ideas came. Of course they did! And as they did, all the irritation and frustration stopped hounding me. The project was soon back on track and we were able to complete our work together with no further complications.
Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, says, “Truth is affirmative, and confers harmony.” (418) The Truth referred to here is God. A strong and clear “No!” to wrong can include the affirmation of the present and available good ideas that God gives us. This is the kind of All-Star thinking that brings harmony to any aspect of our lives.
No matter what the negative suggestions may be, you have the power to say “No!” God's ever-available help, love and care, are right there with you leading you to the best pitch, which is never any further than the next thought away.
Our new guest blogger, Lois Herr, CSB, is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher in Virginia, USA. Feel free to give her your feedback in your comment below. You can also be in touch with her directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
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