Got a fix-it list? Here’s help
I realized I had things backward. I was trying to proceed from a standpoint of focusing on problems rather than on God.
For some time I had been working on overcoming various health issues. I thought of these as my fix-it list. My plan was to pray about the first problem on the list, and when that was healed, go down the list to the next item demanding attention. However, despite diligent daily prayer, my fix-it list never seemed to get shorter. There were some improvements in my health, yet none of the problems ever completely disappeared from the list.
What am I doing wrong? I wondered.
One day I realized I had things backward. I was trying to proceed from a standpoint of focusing on problems rather than on God, Spirit. My list presumed the reality of ill health, based on a belief that I am a combination of Spirit and matter and that healing is about removing something undesirable—but apparently real. This is the exact opposite of a Christianly scientific approach to healing, and is actually a deterrent to healing.
Once I saw that, in essence, I was holding what Mary Baker Eddy once called a “negative watch” based on fear (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 232 ), I asked God how I should approach my need for healing. The ideas that came led me in a new direction.
I saw that it was essential to acknowledge that none of these problems were real to God and His creation, which are entirely good, as the Bible tells us (see Genesis 1:31 ). Fear would suggest that there is a power or reality apart from God. I learned to reason from the spiritual fact that God, infinite divine Mind, was, is, and always will be my only consciousness, which includes nothing but good, harmony, and health.
Instead of dwelling on what seemed to need fixing, my thought was yielding to the reality of God’s allness and my perfection as God’s spiritual idea.
As I did this, I increasingly put into practice a statement Mrs. Eddy makes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind,—that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle” (p. 275).
I began my prayers each day by centering my thought in God, acknowledging that since God is ever present, I could never be separated from Him, not even for an instant. I affirmed that as the image and likeness of God (see Genesis 1:26), I am always at one with divine Mind and possess spiritual sense—the ability to perceive God’s goodness and presence in my life. I knew that meant that health, harmony, peace, and joy are always with me. And since God is the only Mind, I (and all of us) express intelligence, wisdom, and understanding.
As I worked to cultivate a sense of Mind’s ever-presence, I was less preoccupied with troubles and shortcomings and more aware of God and the nature of His creation. Instead of dwelling on what seemed to need fixing, my thought was yielding to the reality of God’s allness and my perfection as God’s spiritual idea.
I prayed daily for my country and the world, to see them as governed by divine Love—God—alone. Whenever I found myself reacting to current events, I would reason that if Love is governing all, then feelings of frustration and anger are no part of me any more than the unlovely traits so often reported in the news truly belong to politicians or other citizens. Knowing that a matter-based view of things is an illusion, not reality, I was able to pray for our leaders with the understanding that they, too, are made in God’s likeness.
Some months ago, I awoke with all the symptoms of a bad cold. As I began my morning prayers, a question came to me: “Did I create the cold?” I readily saw that I had no power to create anything, since God is the only creator. Then came the question “Did God create the cold?” Of course the answer was no. God is entirely good and would not create disease or any unhealthful thing. Therefore, I reasoned, the cold could not be real. Shortly after that, the symptoms disappeared.
Since changing my starting point to what’s going on with God and how I express God rather than on what appears to be wrong with me, I’m happy to report that a recurring pain is completely gone, and a misalignment of my jaw, which had been pointed out during a dental appointment and caused me to lisp sometimes, is no longer a problem. Both of these had been on my now-defunct fix-it list. As I continue to grow in my ability to keep my focus on the allness and perfection of God, I’m seeing healing progress in all areas of my life.
We don’t have to view life as an endless list of problems to be overcome. Instead, we have the opportunity to see the present perfection of God’s creation and rejoice in it. When God’s goodness becomes more real to us than matter and all of its troubles, we experience the harmony of God’s kingdom—and that brings healing.