I WAS INVITED to give a speech on an inspirational topic of my choice at a meeting of a Christian Science Nursing organization. While I was preparing to give this talk, I prayed to resist seeing it as an opportunity to show off what I knew. Instead, I wanted to share something where I had learned more about my relationship with God and how this new awareness had brought blessings in my life.
This was the first time I was going to give a public speech like this, so I practiced many times. Each time I practiced I found a slightly better way to say something or a more uplifted outlook to improve the speech. I felt that I was gaining a better understanding of the significance of the ideas and benefiting from the activity.
However, in the time leading up to the day of the speech, there were a number of things that interfered with my preparation. During the week leading up to the talk, I started to lose my voice and developed symptoms of a cold. In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy writes, "The procuring cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, or sin" (p. 411). It was helpful to consider that my own fear and anxiety could be the basis of these health problems. I reasoned that God had provided this opportunity for sharing, and that it was for God's glory, not mine. Since God was not afraid, there was no room for fear and there could be no room for sickness either. The spiritual ideas I was thinking about were so comforting and reassuring. They helped me gain a better awareness of God's presence and this was providing me with all I needed.