Many of my favorite things to do are actively intense and thrilling, yet others are laid back and chilled-out. Climbing, biking, boarding, slacklining, reflecting on life, and reading are a few of those. And prior to getting more involved in my practice of Christian Science, drinking, smoking, and trying drugs with my buddies felt like just another “adventure.”
I partied hard through my teens and beyond because it seemed like a fun and casual thing to do to bond with others. And though I felt content living the partying lifestyle, I was also seeking answers to life’s deeper questions, which regularly eluded me. I wanted to be better in my classes in school, in dating, choosing a fulfilling career path, staying healthy—basically lead a more fulfilling life.
Sunday School at the local Church of Christ, Scientist, was the last place I expected to find something that I thought was adventurous and cool, and would also help fulfill some of these deeper desires I had.
I was 18 when I first met a Christian Science practitioner—someone whose profession is helping people through scientific mental healing—a practice based on the teachings of the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. This practitioner invited me to attend the Christian Science Sunday School where he was a teacher, and I agreed to check it out.
In my first class, this Sunday School teacher shared some of the most profound and useful ideas that I’d ever heard. At the premise of these ideas was Christ Jesus’ specific instruction to “fear not” (Luke 8:50). The teacher explained that when we are in situations in life, normal or extreme, our responsibility is to get rid of the fear that enshrouds our thinking. When fear is gone, our thinking is clear to hear the voice of God, whom Mary Baker Eddy refers to as divine Mind, who guards and guides everyone. She also explains in Science and Health that this approach to life is a Science, or divine laws, that when put into practice yield healing results.
Our Sunday School teacher, who was also an airplane pilot, told us of his experiences surviving situations in which airplane equipment malfunctioned while he was in flight. He made it clear that he would not have known how to act wisely in these situations if his thinking had been clouded by fear. But his confidence in what the Bible had taught him allowed him to rely on divine Mind to give him instructions that led to safety.
His stories inspired me to think of the infinite possibilities for my life. I was so moved by Christ Jesus’ instructions to cast out fear that I wanted to study these teachings more and get better at practicing them. I thought that if I could live my life casting out all fear and strive to listen in every moment for the instruction of divine Mind, then that would be an adventure!
Right away I started to watch my thinking for indications of fear governing my decisions and actions, and did my best to kick these fearful thoughts out. I learned this is not always an easy practice. However, the more clear I kept my thought, the better I could hear the quiet voice of ever-present good. Listening for this presence, which I now understand to be God, made it easier to keep the fear out.
Soon I began seeing healthy changes in my life, and I began to find answers to those deeper questions I mentioned earlier.
It made sense to continue striving to keep my thought clear, so I also realized the wisdom in stopping habits of drinking, smoking, and occasionally doing drugs. At times it required great effort for me to give up the substances, because they seemed to be such an integral part of the social bond in my circle of friends. But that mental presence of good, God, helped me. And these efforts became joyful as I fully realized that they were a natural progression to bigger and better things. Eventually, I triumphed in quitting these substances and the cravings have gone, too. It’s been a few years now since I’ve been free of them.
I don’t feel that I’ve lost even one friend as a result of my lifestyle changes. Some friendships naturally became more distant, but substantial friendships have just become stronger. Also, I’ve met so many cool new people from different religions, cultures, and walks of life simply because I’ve been more clear-minded and paid more attention to the good in the world around me.
Everyone’s natural state is one of clear thinking and receptivity to the divine Mind, and we harmonize our lives by letting go of habits that cloud thought. These habits could be drugs and alcohol, but they could also be fear, anger, envy, greed, lust, or selfishness.
Science and Health has lifted “the veil of mystery” (see p. 114) and antiquity off the Bible for me, too. Now I apply the metaphysical insights contained in the Scriptures to every event in my life. The result has been a deepening understanding of God, a strong relationship with my girlfriend, a great job, a sense of life-purpose, consistent good health, and a new take on my adventurous approach to life.
—Cambridge, Massachusetts, US,