I'VE BEEN THINKING a lot about occupation recently. My work changed not too long ago, and it took me a while to adjust to differences in schedule, pace, and in some cases, the simplest of duties like meal preparation.

During that time, I heard a talk given by a former military chaplain. He made the point that when evil—thoughts that frighten, frustrate, depress, threaten—occupies a person's thinking, it takes over the ground the way an army takes over territory and occupies it. His remark set me to thinking in a new way about what we call our occupation. It's a lot more than the work we do; it's what we entertain mentally while we do it. It's what claims our attention and fills our lives. From this perspective, everyone has an occupation, since everyone's thought is engaged and employed—either in the service of God, good, or in the contemplation of evil.

When ideas from God—what Christian Scientists sometimes refer to as "angel messages" —occupy thought, they are a formidable army. Hebrew Scripture refers to the "heavenly host," an angelic troop which, in ancient tradition, surrounded the divine throne (for example, Isaiah 6). Several times in Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy spoke of angels. In particular, she referred to the angel Michael: "The Old Testament assigns to the angels, God's divine messages, different offices. Michael's characteristic is spiritual strength. He leads the hosts of heaven against the power of sin, Satan, and fights the holy wars" (pp. 566–567).

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Testimony of Healing
January 1, 2007

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