The rhythm of Spirit
We’re not just a sometime idea of God, good, but a perpetual and inexhaustible one.
I was physically off rhythm. Some might call it an arrhythmic heartbeat. Whatever it was, it was affecting my energy level. I was even having trouble getting through a storybook with my small granddaughter, who was visiting along with her father and brothers. I was all the more anxious because I so much wanted everyone to have fun.
For several weeks prior to this, I’d been more intentional about prayerfully addressing problems as they came up and immediately turning to spiritual Truth. So I wasn’t going to postpone dealing with this one.
That night I took some time alone to pray the way I had learned to pray in Christian Science. I listened as deeply as I could—without any special agenda—to what my Father-Mother God, infinite Spirit, was telling me. It soon became clear that I needed to pray to wake up instead of trying to fix the problem with prayer. I needed to awaken from a limited view of myself as a vulnerable, aging human to my true being as an unlimited, spiritual idea. Man is not stuck in matter. Not now, not ever. So it’s natural to be awake to Spirit and to experience its enlivening effects. I could wake up from this problem the way I could wake up from a night dream.
What came to mind after that was the word rhythm, along with this clear message: You need to get a better sense of rhythm—the spiritual sense.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote this about the rhythm of Spirit: “How much more should we seek to apprehend the spiritual ideas of God, than to dwell on the objects of sense! To discern the rhythm of Spirit and to be holy, thought must be purely spiritual” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 510).
But what exactly is the rhythm of Spirit?
Mrs. Eddy writes, “Immortal Mind is God, immortal good; in whom the Scripture saith ‘we live, and move, and have our being.’ This Mind, then, is not subject to growth, change, or diminution, but is the divine intelligence, or Principle, of all real being; holding man forever in the rhythmic round of unfolding bliss, as a living witness to and perpetual idea of inexhaustible good” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, pp. 82–83).
That’s a pretty cool place to be held—in the rhythmic round of unfolding bliss. We’re not just a sometime idea of God, good, but a perpetual and inexhaustible one. This is true for each one of us. Material rhythms such as electrical pulses or muscular contractions can’t propel or maintain a spiritual idea of good. They can’t affect man’s spiritual identity any more than a magnet can affect pure gold. We live in sync with the rhythm of divine Love, God, not with matter-based beliefs.
Praying this way, I began to see that any “off” rhythm is no rhythm because nothing interferes with Spirit. And as for each of us as man, God’s idea, our “harmony is no more to be invaded than the rhythm of the universe . . .” (Mary Baker Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection, p. 61).
Love’s rhythm never misses a beat. It’s never discordant or misaligned. It moves by the grace that causes all the natural forward motion and progressive cadence of the universe. Moreover, Truth, another synonym for God, is perpetually making itself known; it’s the very rhythm of thought. And when humility opens the way to hearing and feeling this rhythm, it’s unmistakable. It’s expressed through the one divine Mind, not matter, and is seen in timeless life and perfect health, not in disease, sin, or death.
This rhythm of Spirit guides every action. Its lively, spiritual patterns energize us. That’s why we can live unhurried, unburdened, and unworried about anything.
I thought about the fact that limitless Love never stumbles over itself, and it doesn’t get ahead of itself, either. It’s never anxious, never arrives too soon or too late, is never out of order or paused. Man and the universe are governed by one Principle or God, and so can never be out of sync. Nor can Love spin out sequences of evil, fatigue, or ill health. Love constantly weaves its good ideas into one unified, polyrhythmic fabric.
All ideas move within this spiritual prosody, with every function perfectly paced. Moreover, the steady, calm pulse of Spirit can be discerned even when some off-rhythm belief seems so evident. As thought becomes more spiritual, we sense and express more seamless harmony in our daily routines.
With these comforting and powerful thoughts, I fell peacefully asleep. The next morning, the physical problem was gone. There was no more heavy weariness, only many happy stories and lots of lively play.
The day ended with one of the kids asking me to help him with a song he was creating on his new keyboard. I suggested that we turn on the metronome. Then I asked him to listen closely. It was a lightbulb moment. He heard the steady beat and recognized that it underlies everything, informing the rhythmic patterns and melodies that he wanted for his song. This will guide all his musical efforts, I thought, just as my better understanding of Spirit’s steady beat will always guide my understanding of health and well-being.
The rest of the family visit that week was unrushed and joyful—with a lively tempo rooted in spiritual progress.
I am learning not to try to rearrange, control, or fix any material problem with metaphysical prayer, but instead to humbly listen for, and wake up to, the fact that I am already in perfect sync with the rhythm of Spirit, which is steady, ever present, and toe-tappingly joyful.
You, too, are held in Spirit’s holy pacing—in “the rhythmic round of unfolding bliss.”