Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Day I Ate My Words ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Day I Ate My Words ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

"He's hopeless! He can't make a decision, and we're getting desperate." I was explaining to a dear friend and fellow university employee why my boss - an associate dean filling in until a new full dean was appointed - was driving me crazy. My work involved meeting publishing deadlines, and the meter was ticking, just not loudly enough for him to hear.

I was going to have a meeting with him that afternoon, and I assured her that no change would occur. My friend, a Christian Scientist, smiled and said in a very loving way, "Expect him to be helpful." My response was, "Yeah, right." Then, feeling really frustrated as to why she couldn't "get it," I explained again why he wouldn't be able to make a decision.

She continued smiling and said, "Expect him to be helpful." I grumbled and fussed, but as I walked back to my office, I thought a change in expectation couldn't make things any worse. And I recalled this statement from Mary Baker Eddy's book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "When the destination is desirable, expectation speeds our progress" (page 426).

For me, the destination was a finished manuscript that I could get to the printer on time, and that was a deeply desired goal. And to achieve it - according to that author - I needed to be expectant of ... what?

As I thought about it further, I realized that I needed to expect that God governs, not just in the abstract but in the specific need that I had right then. I couldn't outline how this would get my boss moving, but I knew that I needed a moment of clear communication in which I'd be able to convey to him why I needed that material so desperately.

As I began to think more about God as the answer to this failure in communication, I also realized that God is divine Mind - the one intelligence that governs the whole universe and keeps everything moving as it should. As the Psalmist put it, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork" (Ps. 19:1).

I really needed to see God's handiwork rather than fussing so much over the deadline. I tried my best to trust that God's purpose for me and for the project would be a good purpose, one that didn't include frustration, delay, or pressure. …

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