Too many demands?
There are many pressures on us today—on our time, our finances, our affections, and so on. They come from so many directions that it can be difficult to keep up with, evaluate, or see how to meet them. To discover more blessing and feel less stress, we need to have our thinking free and clear and, especially, anchored in God—the one Mind, divine Love.
In an address at the 1899 annual meeting of her Church, Mary Baker Eddy noted that “. . . the fulfilment of divine Love in our lives is the demand of this hour — the special demand” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 131–132). Prayer for the fulfillment of Love is far more than a petition or aspiration. This prayer calls on us to put off a mortal, earthly view of ourselves and others, enabling us to see our true, Godlike identity.
At one point when the requirements on my time felt chronically overwhelming—I was a young mother and a graduate student with two part-time jobs to help make ends meet—I found myself making a lot of to-do lists. Then, as I was praying one day, I wrote the word Love in capital letters at the top of each list. This became my primary goal, and the result was that whatever got accomplished came without stress. I found that, rather than feeling at the mercy of the tasks needing to be done, I felt free and unencumbered, no matter how much or how little was achieved. I felt the practicality and power of this statement: “True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love, and to include all mankind in one affection” (Mary Baker Eddy, No and Yes, p. 39).
What if we were to recognize divine Love as the only real demand on us? Single-mindedly seeking Love’s fulfillment as the primary thing to accomplish in our lives makes a tangible difference—as Jesus proved. Keeping God’s purpose for him at the forefront of thought, Jesus saw Love fulfilled in the healing of sin, sickness, and death. He spent his three-year ministry giving humanity innumerable examples of divine Love in action. And God as Love never causes us to feel overwhelmed or burdened by any demands.
Ruminating on the burdens and unresolved issues of human experience does not allow Love’s law to be fulfilled in our lives.
Seeking to live like Jesus by loving helps us let go of limiting, materialistic beliefs and any sense of urgency about life that would run us ragged trying to keep up or feel competent. Instead, we feel the deep peace that gives us equanimity and an inner calm, no matter what storms might be raging around us. When we follow the leading of Christ, God’s message of good, we are even happy to help others when our schedule gets interrupted by an unexpected need.
“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. . . . Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:8, 10, New King James Version). When we follow the divine commandment to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, it brings into our experience God’s grace, mercy, and justice. When we ruminate on things contrary to Love—the burdens and unresolved issues of human experience—it does not allow Love’s law to be fulfilled in our lives, as it reinforces a mortal view rather than unfolding the eternal, divine reality that Jesus came to show the world.
The practice of Christian Science—turning to Love moment by moment—helps us discern the truth of our spiritual being. In obeying Love’s guidance, we don’t live in reaction to human demands or with a frantic striving to get ahead. Instead, we become more aware of our entirely spiritual nature and the fullness of Love now, and we start to feel, and live from, a deep sense of satisfaction and peace rather than constantly attempting to reach often-elusive human goals. We find ourselves loving and living life in the present and slowing down to appreciate how Love is being fulfilled in this moment. In divine, perfect Love there is no possibility of missing out or failing—in divine Love, we have all we need every moment.
“Intrepid, self-oblivious love fulfils the law and is self-sustaining and eternal” (Miscellany, p. 275). The power of God, infinite Love, is more fruitful than any human efforts at loving that we might make, greater than whatever personal vision we hold, more significant than any worldly achievement. Divine Love upholds everyone who seeks to live by its standard of spiritual affection, excellence, and clarity and to reflect the divine nature in all that they say and do. The reward of this sincere desire to understand, honor, and express God is to be blessed and be a blessing on a daily basis. Divine Love frees and inspires the weary heart heavy with burdens and demands, filling consciousness with spiritual thoughts and motives and enabling us to navigate our way joyfully—with less of a burden of earthly preoccupations and more of a taste of heaven.
Larissa Snorek, Associate Editor