A spiritual homecoming perhaps best describes the resumption of...

A spiritual homecoming perhaps best describes the resumption of my study of Christian Science after a lapse of nearly fifteen years. During that time I looked into many other teachings, but none of them were the least satisfying in solving problems. When I again regularly attended the local branch Church of Christ, Scientist, the reception was warm, loving, and most supportive. This attitude fostered a desire in me to resume my study of the Bible and Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy with enthusiasm. Many unhealthy and unwanted habits and character traits began to disappear. What joy was mine when I saw the wonderful changes taking place!

The habits of smoking and drinking, however, appeared to be a greater challenge. I studied the Bible Lesson in the Quarterly and read the Christian Science periodicals, along with the writings of Mrs. Eddy, with great relish. Nevertheless, I dealt with these habits in much the same manner as Felix did Christianity. When he heard Paul preach, the Bible tells us (Acts 24:25), "Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." I now realize that I was accepting the world belief that to stop smoking was difficult, if not impossible. I believed the mistaken suggestion that once a bad habit is indulged, it takes a herculean human effort to get free. What I needed to become aware of, instead, was that I never had been bound to matter; the only thing that had any hold on me as God's expression was good.

A practitioner was called who prayerfully encouraged me at this time. The real breakthrough came, though, when I refused to take a drink before dinner one evening. That was the end of the habit and the desire. There was never a recurrence of either; only love and encouragement from friends and family members. Even waitresses in a restaurant I frequently patronized supported me in my stand.

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October 27, 1980

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