I lived in a house once where lots of wild turkeys often came into the yard. When it snowed, there were turkey tracks going in all different directions. The turkeys had favorite spots, too, and those spots had lots of tracks.
One time a friend and I were standing in a second floor hallway looking out the window. I was telling her that if she looked in a particular direction she would see all kinds of turkey tracks, but she kept looking the other way. Our conversation went like this:
“No, look over here! See all these tracks?”
“But I see something in the woods over there.”
“No, the turkeys like this corner of the yard best. Look over here and you can see their tracks.”
“Well, what’s that over there then? It sure looks like turkeys.”
So I looked, and of course, it was turkeys. About 22 of them! I had been focusing on signs that the turkeys were around, and my friend was looking for the actual turkeys.
From a spiritual perspective, what I learned from this is that when we fixate on the signs that God is in our lives, we neglect to actually look for God, to seek divine Love’s actual ever-presence. Sometimes we forget to be grateful for what we already have and to praise God—to just be open to feeling harmony, peace, joy, and recognizing an abundance of good. The Bible says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
Physical healing is an important proof of God’s care. And being able to pay the bills is natural proof, too. But these can only be signs, or evidence, of God’s existence. God’s actual existence is always with us, eternally comforting, protecting, guarding, guiding, supplying, and healing, even when we don’t feel like we’re seeing obvious signs.
Sometimes we forget to be grateful for what we already have and to praise God.
The phenomenon of looking for signs instead of looking for divine Life, God, was mentioned by Jesus when he healed the nobleman’s son, who was apparently on his deathbed. Jesus said, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. … Go thy way; thy son liveth”(see John 4:46–54). And Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Now, as then, signs and wonders are wrought in the metaphysical healing of physical disease; but these signs are only to demonstrate its divine origin,—to attest the reality of the higher mission of the Christ-power to take away the sins of the world” (p. 150).
A very valuable step toward healing is to appreciate the godliness, the goodness, that is in each of our lives at every moment. As we are grateful for the good in our lives each day and feel the peace of mind that goodness brings, we find that healing follows.
At first, goodness may simply take the form of a beautiful smile, a fragrant flower, a lovely sky, or a friend’s act of kindness (and, yes, even wild turkey tracks if you know where to look!), but these small examples remind us that our Father-Mother God is actually with us and that we are worthy of seeing and feeling His presence now and always. Gratitude for these expressions results in a better understanding of ever-present divine Love and keeps us on course—focused on the higher mission of seeking and loving God.
Sue Holzberlein is a Christian Science practitioner in Ashby, Massachusetts.