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From the January 2010 issue of The Christian Science Journal

ONE WEEKEND this past summer, I was busy cooking and cleaning, getting my house ready for company. On the morning prior to my guests' arrival, I woke up with a bad headache and stiff back. I was very wrapped up in all the preparations, and didn't take the time to pray about the discomfort. By midday I felt so miserable that I had to stop everything and lie down, but even the cushion under my head was uncomfortable. In my early twenties I had suffered from headaches—sometimes they were so severe that they would only yield to the prayerful work of my mom and, at times, a practitioner.

Along with the headache, I noticed that a certain melody played constantly in my head—a tune I had heard on the radio at the bank where I work. I love all kinds of music, and when I hear a song I like that plays on one of the local stations, I tend to memorize the melody faster than the lyrics. Right then I realized that this song was already so embedded in my thought that I had been humming it unconsciously for days!

Now I found myself lying on the couch with my eyes shut, feeling awful, and trying desperately to get relief from this aggressive imposition that seemed so harmless at first. It was just a tune, right? Well, right then and there I recognized this constantly playing melody as a mental suggestion—a distraction—which did not come from God. Music, I pondered, is generally an expression of divine harmony, which is peaceful, refreshing, and uplifting. It does not force itself into one's mind to take complete control over one's thinking. But that's exactly what was happening to me.

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