This Thanksgiving I am not cooking a turkey. I am neither baking pies nor setting a beautiful table. I will be a simple dinner guest. And the hostess asked that I bring not a single thing. I struggled at first. Then I remembered that my goal this year has been to focus on the task before me, just the one that God is giving me at the moment, without distractions. This Thanksgiving, my work doesn’t involve entertaining, and I don’t feel one whit guilty about it.
You could say this has been a year of anti-multitasking for me. Single-tasking? Unitasking? Even the internet is struggling to come to terms with – and to find a term for – what has become an absolutely essential spiritual concept for me: that a single-minded spiritual focus accomplishes infinitely more than trying to do it all (or be it all) from a material point of view.
Last February I had a lot on my plate. A major article I wrote for a French magazine needed attention; an Association meeting for my pupils was a week away; a heavy travel schedule for lectures required that I have preparatory meetings nearly every night; other church responsibilities called to me; and my telephone and emails signaled the calls for help from those seeking my prayers. If I focused on one task, another cried for attention. If I switched mid-stream or gave only half an effort to two projects at a time, I felt guilty. I eventually said to heck with it all and decided to write a blog post.
As often happens when I blog, I learned as I wrote. I came up with a humorous take on the Adam and Eve myth, illustrating that when we start from a spiritual rather than a material premise we won’t live lives of perpetual reaction to problems but will be fully functional, progressive and productive.
Apparently, something in that post clicked with me, because I immediately changed my method of trying to be all and do all the jobs I could as a good little mortal should. I also dropped the guilt and shame that suddenly appeared on my to-do list when I decided to put all the tasks on hold. Instead, I stayed with the thought that a single good idea from Spirit, a spiritual idea, can accomplish all that is needed, simply by reflecting its divine source, God.
I stepped back completely from everything that needed doing and prayed, leaving the list with God, seeking a single spiritual idea to light my path. It came; and that idea became the backbone of the Association meeting. My writing was inspired by it and the French article reflected that inspiration. More blog posts followed effortlessly. Those blogs became articles and the basis of a new lecture. The same idea fueled radio interviews and inspired healing treatments. My practice and teaching work received a big boost from this single-minded focus.
I ate, drank and slept with the idea that came through my prayer until another spiritual idea came. Then I ate, drank and slept with that one – ultimately accomplishing more this year, as human measurements go, than any other previous year.
In his second letter to the Corinthians Paul wrote, “Now He that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness…” (9:10)
To me this means that God gives us seed (the spiritual idea) and brings it to fruition (bread, or meets the need). God also multiplies our seed (the spiritual idea) and assures that our work bears fruit everywhere (everyone eats bread, all needs are met).
Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, points out our relation to our inexhaustible divine Source: “Man is not God, but like a ray of light which comes from the sun, man, the outcome of God, reflects God.” (p. 250) And she later observed the effortless productivity of God’s creation: “The sunlight glints from the church-dome, glances into the prison-cell, glides into the sick-chamber, brightens the flower, beautifies the landscape, blesses the earth. Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God.” (p. 516)
"Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God..."
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