As I looked out my kitchen window to the backyard, there was my son, almost two years old, sitting under a beautiful blossoming tree, his lap covered in puppies, with two big red balloons floating above his head. He looked so peaceful and joyful; to me, it was pure happiness.
The next time I looked out the window, though, one of the balloons had popped, and I was looking at a much different scene. Now, there sat before me a sad, red-faced little toddler, with tears streaming down his face. He was staring at the red balloon on the ground, trying to put the pieces back together, completely unaware of the two darling puppies right beside him playing tug of war with the green string that had held the balloon.
My heart went out to my son. We had had many a balloon fly away, and had waved them farewell, but this was something new for my dear child. There he sat, seeing his balloon beyond repair. As I assessed the situation, I prayed, knowing that happiness and God’s love for us are permanent, because they are spiritual qualities that we always have from God—they’re not contingent on a balloon being filled with helium! I wholeheartedly knew that God’s love is gentle, sweet, kind, and full of promise.
I gently tapped on the window to get my son’s attention. When he looked up at me, I pointed at the other balloon, which was still flying right over his head. His little eyes followed the green string up in the air, and then he discovered the flying balloon, smiled, and completely left the thought of the other one broken on the ground. All was well again in “toddler land,” and there was the image of contentment once again in our backyard. And then there came to me a lovely thought: “He chose the good!”
“He did choose the good,” I thought, “and so naturally.” I recognized that divine Love is always communicating clearly to each of us, right now and at every moment, pointing us in the right direction, lifting our hearts away from sadness and sickness into health, happiness, and peace. Love is revealing that God’s spiritual qualities of joy and delight are permanently expressed in us, and that we are God’s reflection, forever untouched by disappointment but always held in the goodness of God.
Divine Love is always communicating clearly to each of us, right now and at every moment, pointing us in the right direction.
As I kept thinking about what had just happened, and what a beautiful example my dear son was showing me—of the love and joy that was being expressed right there in our backyard—I started thinking about how, in my own life, I needed to actively choose the good. I needed to turn away from thoughts that had recently presented themselves to me, suggesting that my life could be deflated, sad, broken, and hopeless, that some things in life can’t be fixed.
Earlier that week, I had had an argument with my husband. We rarely argued, but this had been a huge fight; it had totally escalated, to the point where there seemed to be something in our relationship that was now beyond repair. At the same time, there was a great pain in my stomach that had been there for a few weeks. Yet I knew that through Christian Science healing could come, even though inside I was a mess, brokenhearted and in pain.
I had been able to do my daily tasks, but I’d had to lie down often, in between activities. I had been praying a little here and there, but had not been as diligent in my prayers as I should have been. I think I was distracted from praying because I felt sorry for myself. I struggled with thinking there was little point in praying because it all seemed so hopeless. So, as I watched my son in our backyard choosing the good, I was grateful to recognize that this downward and morbid thinking that I had been struggling with was nothing more than mortal mind—it certainly wasn’t the truth that divine Mind, God, was communicating to me.
Just then, I felt as though the Mother-love of God, which I had expressed toward my son when I’d tapped on the window and encouraged him to look up, was reaching out toward me, knocking on the window of my thought, lovingly getting my attention, and pointing me to what was real and good. In that very moment, the simple thought came clearly that I needed to turn away from all that seemed sad and hopeless in my life and to look up and out to Truth, God, and divine reality. My little boy had turned away from the popped balloon, and now it was time for me to mentally turn away from the body and the false evidence of a sad, deflated life.
I recalled a passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (p. 261).
I declared out loud, “God is my life!” I knew that God, Love, didn’t need me to try to fix something that was broken, but was beckoning me to look higher. Divine Love is forever revealing to each of us the perfect, lovely idea of God that we truly are, always whole and complete. In reality, as God’s own child I was already upright and free, and my prayer was bringing this truth to light in my consciousness right then. I was choosing the good!
I needed to turn away from all that seemed sad and hopeless in my life and to look up and out to Truth, God, and divine reality.
Science and Health says, “Truth is an alterative in the entire system, and can make it ‘every whit whole’ ” (p. 371). The pain stopped in an instant, and I felt something shift, both in my stomach and, even more important, in my thought, and I felt free. I did have to keep praying over the next few days until complete healing had been demonstrated, but at that specific moment I felt completely free of any burdensome thoughts. They just melted away. I knew I was healed, even though I still had a tiny bit of discomfort. And at the end of the third day, I realized that I had not needed to rest or lie down in between activities at all that day. And that was the end of the physical problem.
Over the next few weeks, my husband and I were able to resolve our differences. This proved to me that there is no situation beyond the reach of divine Love, and that God is always able to lift us out of pain and despair when we look up to Him. What a difference it made to choose the good!
This experience occurred about ten years ago, but I think of it often because it was such a simple and powerful example of what can happen when we actively choose the good—when we consciously choose to trust that health and happiness are qualities of God that we possess right now, because God is always expressing them in us. Today my son and I still occasionally discuss that moment with the balloons if there is ever a need for either one of us to be reminded to turn away from the testimony of the material senses and to look up to Spirit. As Science and Health teaches us: “As vapor melts before the sun, so evil would vanish before the reality of good. One must hide the other. How important, then, to choose good as the reality!” (pp. 480–481).
Choosing good as the reality means that we reject the false picture of matter with its heartaches and pains and choose instead to acknowledge spiritual reality as actually ever present. Lifting our thought to the good, to God, brings answers and healing. The very moment when mortal mind is suggesting to us something completely contrary to what is good, that is the very moment to deny that suggestion as false and to trust in God with our whole heart, affirming the reality of His goodness and love. As we cast out of our thinking anything that is incorrect, or not of God, and choose to acknowledge the presence and power of divine Life, Truth, and Love, we find healing.
I am so grateful to understand more fully the importance of not only choosing good, but choosing good as the reality for each and every one of us right now.
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