Does progress require process?
I trustingly gave my notice to my employer, even though I didn’t have another job lined up.
The concept of process, especially as it relates to healing, has been echoing in my thought recently. We frequently encounter the common assumption that healing, that progress of any kind, is dependent upon a process. For example, many countries are in the process of reopening amid concerns over the global pandemic, while others are finding that process prolonged or delayed by further periods of lockdown.
Whatever the specific process may be, it always involves steps leading to a goal or end. But this can be very limiting when it is dependent primarily on matter-based predictions of how events will play out over a given period of time.
However, cutting through the limitations of material processes is possible with prayer that brings thought into alignment with God’s perfection.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus gives this beautiful promise that directly contradicts the assumption that progress requires a process: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (4:35). Elaborating on this promise, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, states in her book Unity of Good: “Jesus required neither cycles of time nor thought in order to mature fitness for perfection and its possibilities. He said that the kingdom of heaven is here, and is included in Mind; that while ye say, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest, I say, Look up, not down, for your fields are already white for the harvest; and gather the harvest by mental, not material processes” (pp. 11–12).
A particular process most of us encounter at one time or another is the job search. But I have been learning that even finding a job doesn’t have to be a process. When I felt impelled to follow a deep desire to pursue employment based in my love for Christian Science and its healing mission, I trustingly gave my notice to my employer, even though I didn’t have another job lined up.
My prayers during this time were often guided by this verse from a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal:
Truthful and steadfast though trials betide
Ever one thing do thou ask of thy
Grace to go forward, wherever He guide
Gladly obeying the call of His word.(P.M., No. 278, adapted, © CSBD)
Even though I didn’t immediately get a new job, there were so many instances of God’s grace and guidance along the way, opening door after door and compelling me to walk forward. This led to expansive and enriching experiences that enabled me to put my love for the healing practice of Christian Science to work and to discover more of God’s grandness, beauty, and love.
“I have to process this” is a commonly used phrase. However, there’s no indication that when Christ Jesus healed, he required a long thought process either of himself or of the people he healed. Instead, those who came to him seeking relief from sickness or disease were typically healed immediately. The book of Matthew records Jesus as saying, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (4:17). The kingdom of heaven—the reign of divine harmony—is here and now, not existing in some distant location or arriving at some future date. Jesus’ healing ministry bore witness to the ever-presence of spiritual reality, and that brought the needed change to the lives of those he healed, not incrementally but immediately.
God’s goodness is ever present; Deity doesn’t delay or procrastinate.
This has taught me that God’s goodness is ever present; Deity doesn’t delay or procrastinate. Shortly after notifying my employer that I would be leaving, I applied for a job that appeared to be a perfect fit for me. The application process lasted for several months, and in the end, I didn’t get the job. My initial reaction was disappointment. But less than a week later, I was unexpectedly hired immediately for a job that required no application process and that nurtured my love for spiritual healing.
Healing is not a process but a revealing of what always has been and always will be true about God’s spiritual creation and our completeness as God’s reflection. Prayer lifts our thoughts above limited, ego-based views to see the reality of things as God sees them—wholly good, purposeful, orderly, and harmonious.
Whether our communities are going through a reopening process or remaining in lockdown, we can affirm and prove that the kingdom of heaven, in which God’s laws of health and harmony are ever present and active, is already at hand. Our lives are not reliant on material processes but on eternal, spiritual unfoldment, peeling away limited, material thinking and revealing the universal presence and supremacy of Spirit, God, and His perfect creation. Every day is an opportunity to witness more of the perfection that is already innate to each of us.
We are always progressing, and our Father-Mother God, divine Love, is unfolding each step, revealing to each of us a more expansive sense of identity, purpose, and health.