For years I lived with a subtle underlying fear of accidentally deleting the Wi-Fi code from my computer. Why? Because 1) the code involves a ridiculously long series of numbers, letters, and figures (to discourage hackers), making reinstallation a challenge, and 2) I had no idea where the code was written down.
Well, number 2 is not exactly true. I had a general idea where it was – in a desk drawer – but the specific location eluded me. Why? Because said drawer was jam-packed with so much “stuff” that it was impossible to find.
Then one day I cleaned out the drawer, found the code, organized everything around it, and POOF! No more fear.
Sounds like such a simple thing to do: to clean out a drawer. But for whatever reason, or for however many other more important priorities, that desk drawer had remained a mess until that day.
This would be a rather banal incident if it weren’t for what followed. When I stopped being afraid of losing the Wi-Fi code, I felt something – a heavier-than-I-realized “something” – move off. The fear I had of losing the code had been anchored in something much darker, much weightier than I realized – the guilt associated with have a little secret private mess in my desk.
This was the beginning of a renovation – a revolution of sorts. My eyes were suddenly opened to see other hot-spots of localized fear and guilt in my home. Not all at once, mind you. No, that would have potentially overwhelmed me. But one drawer led to another, which led to a closet, which led to other spots, until I was living in a guilt-free, fear-free space.
Now, what has this to do with prayer? When guilt and fear take up space in consciousness, problems tend to loom large and finding God in prayer sometimes feels difficult – like there is an invisible resistance to good. But I learned that by eliminating the mess – even such a tiny mess – mental obstacles that I wasn’t aware of no longer impeded the free movement of my thought in prayer. In proportion to the wiping away of guilt and fear, my thoughts became freer and more ordered.
Now when I reach out to God in prayer I don’t “tuck and roll” (a modern urban "tactic" employed in firearms training to get around obstacles while continuing a forward movement). Inspiration and the right idea that meets the need of the occasion are right there in my prayer.
The Bible’s Song of Solomon has a sweet little prayer that asks God to “catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”
Christian Science discoverer, Mary Baker Eddy pointed to a couple of those foxes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She wrote, “A mental state of self-condemnation and guilt or a faltering and doubting trust in Truth are unsuitable conditions for healing the sick. Such mental states indicate weakness instead of strength” 455:3-6. She also explained ,“It were better to be exposed to every plague on earth than to endure the cumulative effects of a guilty conscience.”405:22-24
I didn’t realize how much guilt and fear a single messy drawer could contain. Or how much cleaning out one tiny space in my home could make such a significant difference to what I do.
But now I do. No more foxes in my vine. I cleaned them out when I cleaned that first drawer. Now it is so much easier to spot a destructive fox before it hollows out a place in my home or in my thought.
Grateful. So, so grateful.
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