Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Swimming Lessons ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Swimming Lessons ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Article excerpt

It was one of those rare spring mornings in New England when the air is warm enough to tempt you into the water and you're reasonably sure it won't rain before you emerge. Mom and Dad had decided this was the perfect opportunity for a swimming lesson.

Dad was the first into the water. He shook himself and waited for the rest of the family to follow. Mom nudged two little ones forward. The safe shallow water gleamed a welcome. They clambered over the rocks, then hesitated again. Dad took a quick dive and came up tossing silver drops high in the air. Mom flapped her broad white (often sheltering) wings and applied enough pressure to get those babies into the water.

Yes, I mean wings. This was in a shady cove along the Charles River where two Emden geese were schooling eight furry goslings no more than a few days old.

Within 10 minutes, six of the babies were in the water, swimming cautiously behind their father. The last two didn't take the plunge until they had been nudged three more times by their mom, their dad had demonstrated his dives again, and he had paddled twice past the launching place with the new recruits in fleet formation.

It took me no more than 15 minutes with the goslings to see how what they were learning might be related to my own spiritual growth, and especially to my trust in God.

*Lesson One: Learn who truly loves you, and let them take charge.

Those goslings were quick to take refuge when necessary under their mother's wings. And all of us can rely on a God who is both Mother and Father.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "All nature teaches God's love to man, but man cannot love God supremely and set his whole affections on spiritual things, while loving the material or trusting in it more than in the spiritual" (p. 326). Our affections must be anchored firmly in a God whom we love "because he first loved us" (I John 4:19). …

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