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Don’t go back to sleep

From the April 2017 issue of The Christian Science Journal

The glass slipped out of my hands and shattered all over the kitchen floor. Then I heard a familiar sound. It was the alarm on my cellphone. I’d been dreaming.

At that point, in my sleepy state, I hit snooze and snuggled back into bed because I wanted to get to work cleaning up all that broken glass!

A few moments later I realized what I’d done. I’d been trying to dive back into the dream. And yet the solution to the problem couldn’t be found in trying to go back to sleep so I could clean up the kitchen floor. In reality, there was no glass, no mess to struggle with, no danger. Even if the dream seemed really vivid. The solution had everything to do with waking up.

This modest example was inspiring to me and reminded me of how to approach challenges through prayer in Christian Science. What to do, and what not to do. Now, I’m not suggesting it’s appropriate to simply slough off troubles as “not real” and move along in a naive and insincere manner. Or that it’s smart to ignore messy situations and feel “above it all.”

But I’ve found that, as a student of Christian Science, as I humble myself and grow spiritually, I increasingly see the total and unmatched power of God, good, and the unreality of anything unlike God. That’s because I’m letting spiritual sense—which God has given all of us—inform me of what is real and true. With this knowledge, I move away from a tendency to spend all my time overanalyzing a problem, in a sense “cleaning up” and inspecting each shard of “broken glass.”

As we spend time getting to know God, we are opening our hearts and minds to God’s pure love, the love that Christ Jesus expressed so beautifully, which cleanses and washes away darkness and disease, redeems, restores, and protects. Before long, as we approach our prayers with humility and become more aware of what’s truly substantial and good, we see what seems so troubling and permanent in our lives melt away, because its nothingness is understood; we experience healing.

I’m reminded of something Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures about error, or the mistake of believing that evil holds sway: “The history of error is a dream-narrative. The dream has no reality, no intelligence, no mind; therefore the dreamer and dream are one, for neither is true nor real” (p. 530).

I love the idea that we don’t have to be “dreamers” (in the negative sense!) or fix a dream. So we don’t have to hit the snooze button. We can wake up.

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