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‘Whose day is it, anyway?’

From the December 16, 2019 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


When we awaken in the morning and think about the day ahead, what may first come to mind is a schedule or to-do list. We might think of it as “my day” and feel personally responsible for how it goes. 

Later, if the day is going well, we might congratulate ourselves on having a good day. If our plans go awry, however, we’re often quick to disown it with, “Well, I guess this just isn’t my day!”

But whose day is it, anyway? And what really determines how it goes?

From the Bible’s perspective, the day belongs to God. Consider what Psalm 118 says: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (verse 24). 

And Second Peter tells us, “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (3:8).

No mention of a schedule or to-do list in these verses! 

The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, defines day in spiritual terms: “The irradiance of Life; light, the spiritual idea of Truth and Love.” It goes on to describe the unlimited nature of day: “The objects of time and sense disappear in the illumination of spiritual understanding, and Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded. This unfolding is God’s day, and ‘there shall be no night there’ ” (p. 584).

What truly governs the day is not happenstance or our personal abilities but God’s law of perpetual harmony. Viewing each day as the unfoldment of God’s goodness lifts us above the self-will, drudgery, and stress that so often characterize a “my day” approach to our activities. 

Rejoicing in the beauty, bounty, and perfection of God’s day brings inspiration and healing, as I found one holiday season when I was in charge of preparing my school’s Christmas program. 

As a kindergarten teacher, I was used to multitasking, but directing the Christmas program meant adding a whole new list of responsibilities to my already full schedule. I needed to choose the music and play the piano, paint the backdrop for the stage, costume seventy kindergarteners, teach them the words to several songs, and train them to enter and leave the stage without incident. And, of course, I had Christmas shopping to do and holiday preparations to make for my own family. I felt overwhelmed.

Yearning for peace, I prayed for a clearer sense that God is the real supervisor, manager, and definer of my day. I took comfort in the first chapter of the Bible, which tells us that God gives His children dominion (see Genesis 1:26). I also felt reassured by this promise in Psalms: “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (119:165).

As I prayed, it became clearer to me that we choose what defines our day. When we accept God, good, as the only power there is and the source of every right idea, we can expect to see this truth manifested in our experience. Whatever challenges come up in our day, we can regard them as opportunities to know and prove that good is ever present and always operative, and that evil is powerless.

What truly governs the day is not happenstance or our personal abilities but God’s law of perpetual harmony.

I began to feel confident that God was the only Mind conceiving me and my purpose and governing my activity. As a result, my days, though very full, unfolded harmoniously, and I no longer felt stressed.

Then, about two weeks before the date of the Christmas program, a student in my morning session was absent. Before the week was over, half the students were missing from that class. We were told they had come down with scarlet fever. 

I began to panic. How would these children learn the songs and practice their roles in time for the pageant if they couldn’t attend rehearsals? And would the audience still attend the performance, or would they stay away to avoid exposure?

Then several children in my afternoon session became ill—and soon I was feeling some symptoms of the illness myself. Although I was able to continue teaching, the principal came to my classroom on Friday to tell me that because so many children were absent as a result of this epidemic, the school would have to close. Notices were to be sent home with all the students the following Monday.

That was when I called a Christian Science practitioner to pray with me. I told her I’d been feeling responsible for the success of the Christmas program and had been praying to recognize that as God’s child, I expressed harmony in all of my activities. I rattled on for several minutes about how much I had done and how appropriately I had acted, until she stopped me. 

“Are you including the children in your prayers?” she asked. 

She pointed out that to be free myself, I had to claim freedom for all mankind as well. God is impartial Love, and is governing the unfoldment of everyone’s day; He doesn’t bless some of His children and not others. So everyone my thought rested on—all the students, staff, and their families and friends—must be seen as expressing and experiencing only good. 

With renewed energy, I devoted myself to this prayerful work. I reasoned that since God is infinite and fills all space, disease could not cast a shadow on anyone’s day—and that there was no waiting period for God’s children to realize their dominion over any belief in evil. God’s purpose for each of us is good, entire, and complete. 

As I prayed in this more inclusive way, my own symptoms abated. And the following Monday, most of the children returned to class. The principal felt there was no need to send the school closure notices. In fact, no new cases of the disease were reported after that. 

The school stayed open, and we continued rehearsals for the Christmas pageant. The show went on as planned, with the community happily showing up in droves. And the performance was fantastic! It was as if the epidemic had never happened.

This experience reminds me of how important it is to acknowledge that every day is God’s day, and that God alone governs its unfoldment—for everyone.

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