How many times do we hunger for sure guidance or for a sign that will lead us in a right direction? Should we go through with a project even if there are complications? Should we change locations? Should the child be placed back a year in school? Is this the right person for me?
Through prayer we find that all the help we could ever desire, all the reliable direction we could imagine, is always right at hand. This help never wavers. Why? Because it is not of human origin! It is divine. We can totally rely upon divine direction because it comes to us unconditionally from our Father-Mother God. The Bible tells us: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Prov. 3:5, 6).
God is the only Mind—the only knower, the one Ego—and man individually expresses divine Mind. Humbly yielding to Mind, we discern the soundest course of action to take. We are led either to proceed with assurance or to reverse what could possibly be a wrong or harmful move.
Understanding man's spiritual nature removes the fear that we could ever be without a clue as to what to do or be left to our own devices. Each of us reflects God's wisdom and knowledge. As Mary Baker Eddy explains in Science and Health, "Immortal man was and is God's image or idea, even the infinite expression of infinite Mind, and immortal man is coexistent and coeternal with that Mind" (p. 336).
It's believing that we're separate from God that closes our thought to His voice and loving direction. This false belief would place a large gulf between us and Love's tender impelling. Then frustration or fear of making a wrong turn steers us completely away from God's gentle shepherding.
Anxiety or depression is a sure sign we have accepted that God is not our Mind, that His care does not reach us, and that we can have dead ends and unfulfilled lives. But when we open the Bible we can find just the opposite! For instance, in Deuteronomy we read of God's care for Jacob: "He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the Lord alone did lead him..." (32:10–12).
I remember a time when I saw how clearly God directs our decisions. Two years after receiving Christian Science class instruction (a two-week course conducted by an authorized teacher of Christian Science), I desired to dedicate my time fully to the healing ministry of Christian Science. At the time, I was performing in a rock band that traveled quite a bit. My desire to help others had blossomed during these trips as I found myself called on to help people through prayer. This career change seemed like a natural and right step for me.
But as I seriously considered the decision, questions began to enter my thought. Would I miss the excitement, the travel, and the notoriety of the band? Was I really prepared to help others through Christian Science? Would I be forfeiting all that I had invested in the band? What about income? I wondered what sacrifices I would have to make.
It was at this point that I turned in prayer to God, who is the one and only Mind, and knew that He was governing my thought and my actions. Answers came. I saw that the joy of healing and of sharing the love of God was for me second to nothing. I recognized that God had been preparing me for this step and that I did not have to doubt. I saw that the only thing I had to sacrifice was the fear that my needs would not always be met. Hadn't I always received what I needed during my musical career? Yes, I had! I had learned through past opportunities how rewarding it was to keep my thought open for God's provision. I knew I could go forward with Christlike confidence.
Because my motives were God-impelled, the timing of my leaving the band proved to be a blessing not only for me but for every other band member as well, including the road crew. The band subsequently broke up, and each person involved went on to better things. Today, my heart is filled with gratitude for God's loving care for our entire group. For me, the career change has been permanent and rewarding.
The effect of listening to God's leading is dynamic. Boundless avenues of Love's provision are open to receptive thought. Mrs. Eddy writes, "Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way. Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action" (Science and Health, p. 454).
Sometimes the suggestion is strong that we are mortals with self-destructive capacities, that we can't help making sinful or wrong choices. But this suggestion can be healed through understanding that all true consciousness emanates from God. No wrong motives come from Mind. This truth brings into focus the true worth and spirituality of man, and what we are to know and do.
When we are turning to God for specific direction, we are craving what is always at hand. Because of our oneness with our creator, we are never without His guidance. All that is really taking place is Mind maintaining its perfect creation.
Our Father-Mother God, the supplier of unfailing wisdom, guides our every thought and act. This shepherding is beautifully described in the book of Isaiah where we read, "The Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not" (58:11).