by Dorothy Rieke, 1969.
One night following a Wednesday evening meeting, a friend of mine made a statement to a friend of hers. She said with great positiveness and conviction in her voice, "Don't be concerned about anything--wonderful things are taking place." She was so emphatic in making her statement that another lady overheard it. On the way home she started to think about this positive, joyous approach. She realized that this positive, joyous attitude had certainly not been the attitude that she had been entertaining. She had been very much concerned for many reasons-an incurable disease which had been growing steadily worse, a business which had failed and her son who was in a danger zone in Korea. She asked herself "How can I say I am not concerned?" The answer came just as if it were God speaking to her. "Because God is all there is, there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about." Then she asked herself, "How can I rejoice and say that wonderful things are taking place?" The answer came, "Because God is all there is, and He is expressing Himself, and the results have to be wonderful." That night on the way home she determined that no matter what came up in her body, or in her affairs, she was going to refuse to be concerned. And instead, she was going to rejoice consistently that wonderful things were taking place. She realized that the basis for such a positive, joyous approach was scientific because she was truly convinced that God is All, and that God is really expressing Himself.
She stood steadfast in her practice of this scientific, positive, joyous attitude. As a result she was very quickly healed and her business was restored to a place far beyond what it had ever been before.
This lady's daughter-in-law was ill. The daughter-in-law came to the mother-in-law for help. She, too, had been concerned about many things. She had been concerned about her own illness, problems in the school room where she was a teacher. And she'd been concerned about the young man in the danger zone because he was her husband. The mother-in-law shared this positive, joyous approach with her daughter-in-law, and told her of the wonderful things that had come to pass because she had steadfastly put this attitude to work. The daughter-in-law decided that she, too, regardless of what came up in her body or in her affairs, would consistently and steadfastly refuse to be concerned. But instead, would rejoice that wonderful things were happening. As a result she was healed. Her husband was brought home to a spot so close he didn't even seem to be in the Army anymore. Everything worked out harmoniously in her teaching. But there's one incident I must share with you. One day a little girl came to her teacher and said, "I have a little friend who wants to take her life. Her father and mother don't love each other anymore. They don't love her. Home is awful and she really wants to commit suicide. What can I say to her?" The teacher, of course, was just full of this positive, joyous way of thinking, so she shared it with the little girl in terms that she could understand. She said, "You tell your little friend that no matter how bad things seem to be at home, just because God loves her, He will make wonderful things take place. However, she must know this, have faith in it and rejoice in it. In about a week's time the little girl returned to the teacher and she said, "I have a confession to make. I was the little girl that wanted to commit suicide. But I went home and I told my father and mother what you told me, and they love each other now, and they love me, and home is wonderful, and I wouldn't take my life for anything." So the school teacher told the mother-in-law, and in turn she gave a testimony, and my friend heard how this positive, joyous statement that she had shared had reached out and blessed six individuals, because they had all put it to work.
There are two very important conclusions which I have drawn from this testimony. First, it didn't make any difference whether the individual was an old-time Christian Scientist who had been studying for years and had become discouraged, or one who was so brand new in Christian Science she didn't even know she was a Scientist yet, the positive, joyous attitude healed. Secondly, it didn't make any difference whether the problem was a business problem, an incurable disease, location in a danger zone, an illness, problems connected with the school room, or a problem of human relationships-that same positive, joyous attitude healed. And the healing is still going on. I have shared this testimony all over the United States, and, in fact, in any country where I could give testimonies. And reports are still coming back to me from all over the world. "I, too, am standing steadfast in rejoicing that there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about, and that wonderful things are taking place." And then they tell me about healings they have experienced, as a result of their sharing this positive, joyous approach.
The last time my husband lectured throughout Germany and Switzerland, in their German language, we spent a month in Munich in preparation for the German lecture. I prayed that God would use me in a way whereby I could truly bless. Well, He certainly did! God told me to have this testimony translated into German so that I could share it on Wednesday nights. A wonderful Christian Scientist translated it for me, and coached me so that I could read it properly. Every Wednesday night I would read my testimony in German. At the close of each meeting the German people would rush up to me to thank me for that wonderful testimony, and of course, they would speak German very rapidly, and I didn't know what they were saying. Never for an instant would they have thought anyone who could read such beautiful German so well wouldn't be able to understand them. Then I would tell them in German that I spoke very little German, but that I spoke a little. From that point on we would get along famously. And you know, I'm still receiving thrilling reports from Germany about the fact that wonderful things are taking place because individuals refuse to be concerned.
One of the most thrilling experiences I had was in a little town in Wetzikon in Switzerland. He was to give his last lecture in German on a Sunday afternoon. People came not only from that part of Switzerland, but many came down from Germany. The lecture was to be held in the ballroom of the hotel. But please don't picture the ballroom, as you would find it in a hotel in Detroit-this building was over 300 years old. It was one of those picturesque old buildings of brick and mortar painted white, held together with pieces of black wood. Long before all the people were in the ballroom, the owner of the hotel was wringing his hands. He said, "We can't let any more people in. The building is too old, it will collapse." My husband solved the problem by starting the lecture early and by giving a second lecture. Because these people had never had such an experience and did not know what to do about it I found myself directing the situation. And I ended up outside the building during the first lecture. As I stood rejoicing about so many people coming to the lecture, a lady approached me. She said they had come a great distance. The rest of the family, all except her mother, were in hearing the first lecture. The mother was unable to walk. They had brought her knowing that she would not be able to hear the lecture, but they thought Mr. Rieke might be able to speak with her. However, she said that by the time the second lecture was over it would be far too late for them to start home. Thus, she knew that her mother would not be able to talk with him, but would I come and talk to her. Believe it or not, I talked with that lady for twenty minutes in German. I said things in German I had never dreamed I would be able to say. I had the copy of the testimony in my purse, which I had been reading at the services. I gave it to her. I told her that if she would do exactly what the people in this testimony did, that she too would be healed. You can imagine the joy which was mine when she returned the testimony along with a letter telling me that she had been completely healed.
The statement, "I'm not concerned about anything-wonderful things are taking place," is not a formula, nor is it a Pollyanna attitude on seeing only the good in spite of the bad. The statement, "I am not concerned about anything" is based upon the most important of all metaphysical laws, the law that God is All. It is because of the allness of God that there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about. Let's think about the allness of God for a few minutes. Listen to some of the statements which God himself makes, as found in Isaiah, "I am God and there is none else, I am God, and there is none like me." "I am the first, and I am the last and beside me there is no God." Mrs. Eddy attributes great importance to the law of metaphysics, that God is All. In Unity of Good, page 7, she speaks of it as a self-proved proposition and an incontestable point in Christian Science. On page 30:11-13 of No and Yes, she states: "God's law is in three words, 'I am All' and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law."
I find great inspiration in contemplating God's allness from the statement found on page 520 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, "Unfathomable Mind is expressed. The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty and glory of infinite Love fill all space." I am sure all of you have in individual ways been enabling yourselves to comprehend this tremendous infinitude of God. Somehow, I seem to feel deeply His allness when I say, "Why I'm right in the very midst of God. Fifty billion miles all around me there's nothing but God. Fifty billion miles beyond that and beyond that and beyond that, there is nothing but God. Therefore, there is absolutely nothing to touch me but God. There is nothing to influence me, condition me, govern or control me, but God!"
In the Christian Science textbook we read, "Since God is All there is no room for his unlikeness." S&H 339:7-8. There cannot be both God and accident, war, earthquake, tornado, or chaos of any description. There is only God. There cannot be both God and heart trouble, cancer, palsy, epilepsy, colds, sickness, or disease of any description. There is just God. There cannot be both God and hatred, fear, criticism, resentment, rebellion, worry, or sin of any kind-there is just God. There cannot be both God and even a belief in error. It is because this law rebukes even a claim or a belief contrary to God's allness; there is no claim or belief, no dream, no illusion,-there is just God.
How does the law of God's allness rebuke even a claim or a belief of another law? It is because unfathomable, infinite, eternal, divine Mind is the only Mind, and there is no other mind, no mortal mind, to entertain even a claim or a belief of something opposed to God. There is just God, divine Mind. How wonderful it is that no matter what the error, we understand it to be completely nonexistent, utterly impossible, because of the ever presence of the allness of God. So, when we say, "I'm not concerned about anything," we actually mean that because of the allness of God there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about.
It was because of the allness of God, that it was impossible for a man to be in a danger zone, impossible for there to be problems in a school room, impossible for a husband and wife not to love each other, impossible for a business career to be ruined, and impossible for a little girl to take her life.
A young lady who was working in an office alone, suddenly found herself in the throes of severe pain, and realized that she had lost her power of speech, and that she was losing consciousness. All she could think of was God, and she repeated the word mentally as she lost consciousness. Some time later as she started to regain consciousness, she was again aware only of God. Finally, she could say the word, but nothing else came so she repeated the word, "God," until she could say, "God is". She found her speech and thought becoming clearer and repeated, "God is," until she could say, "God is All." She was so grateful and so joyous in being able to realize, acknowledge, and voice the allness of God, that shortly she found herself manifesting only perfection. Her healing was complete and permanent.
Oh, isn't it wonderful that just because of the allness of God we don't have to be concerned about anything! By the way-what are you concerned about? Your health, your family, your church, your supply, the state of the nation, world affairs? I am asking all of you to repeat with me, "I am not concerned about anything. Because God is All, there is nothing to be concerned about."
God Expressing Himself
The second basic metaphysical law underlying our positive, joyous statement is that God is expressing Himself. It is thrilling to realize that God, who is All-in-all, is a divinely active God. Just contemplating God as Life, we can see so readily that there is never any interruption to divinely active being. Contemplating God as Mind, we see that there could never be such a thing as a divine Mind which is not thinking, knowing, understanding, comprehending and expressing. Contemplating God as Love-why it is impossible to think of God as Love and not realize that He is ever actively loving His perfect creation. Just listen to the activity of God as expressed by just one Psalm (#104)-"He coverest Himself with light, he stretchest out the heavens, he layeth the beams of his chambers, he maketh the clouds his chariot, he walketh upon the wings of the wind. He laid the foundations of the earth, he sendeth the springs into the valleys, he giveth drink to every beast, he watereth the hills, he causeth the grass to grow. He planted, he appointed the moon, he openest his hand, he looketh upon the earth, he touches the hills." No wonder David exclaimed, "O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy riches". (Ps. 104:24) And so it is because we have a divinely active God that wonderful things are happening. It is because our perfect, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God is expressing all His qualities in perfect balance, that wonderful things are taking place. Now this one and only divinely active God does all the doing in the universe. Not only does He do all the creating, but all the knowing, all the understanding, all the expressing. He does all the relating, the associating, the environing. The definition of Mind in the Glossary of Science and Health (591:19) reads, "Deity, which outlines but is not outlined." God doing all the planning, all the outlining, is a very important basic truth which we must accept in our expectation of wonderful things happening. I doubt if there is any one statement I have made more often than this one-"God's plan for man is in operation, and there is no other power or presence that can interfere with it." I wish to discuss this statement with you this morning in relation to wonderful things taking place. There isn't a one of us who at some time during a year, doesn't need to let that glorious truth operate in his experience-to find the right job, select the right apartment, buy the right car, choose the right university, join the right church, accept the right church assignments, take the right vacation, marry the right person. In any one of these decisions, we must rejoice consistently at God's plan for us is in operation. To be absolutely sure that it is God who is doing the outlining, and not me, myself, there are four basic truths I love to contemplate, comprehend, and rejoice in. These truths were unfolded to me at a time when I thought I had a problem that was beyond solution. I couldn't see how even God could have an answer. It was at that time that I took a little boy and his mother sailing. It was the three-year old child's first experience in a sailboat. He was impressed by the expanse of water, and he was besieging his mother with questions, "Is the water over my head? Is it over brother's head? Over your head?" It was getting a little deeper all the time. "Is it over daddy's head?" "Yes, it is over daddy's head," the mother replied, The little fellow thought for a moment, and then with a look of absolute confidence, he announced, "But it isn't over God's head." That night when I had an opportunity to be alone, I went out of doors, sat under the stars and prayed. I knew that what the little boy had said was a message from God for me that my problem wasn't over God's head. I turned wholeheartedly to my Heavenly Father. I let divine Mind talk, and I listened. It was then that these four precious, but powerful points, were revealed to me.
FIRST. (S&H 60:20) "Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind." Don't ever start working on a problem with a limited sense of things, such as "Jobs are few and far between. There are just no eligible men my age who are Christian Scientists." Or, "There is only one school for me, but I don't know which one." Begin with the infinitude of God's goodness. Remember that His resources are infinite. The possibilities for income are beyond measure. The possibilities of employment are infinite. Opportunities to serve are infinite. Because all the resources of God do not lie idle, He uses His infinite resources to bless you. No matter what your need might be, it is tremendously thrilling to start out with the realization of the infinite possibilities whereby your Heavenly Father might bless you. Of course, because the resources are God's. they must all be necessarily beautiful, harmonious, wonderful, good, and perfect in every respect. Rejoice that you are rich. You have inherited the kingdom. In Luke we read, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine."
SECOND. Divine Mind, the all-knowing intelligence, knows which resources best meet the needs of every individual. Jesus tells us, "Your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." Isn't it wonderful that we can trust God and know that His planning is far beyond anything that we could humanly plan? God, Divine Mind, employs His resources for man in perfect wisdom, and, therefore, for one who understands this, no avenue is blocked, no right desire unsatisfied, no need unprovided. It is at this point of the demonstration where we must stand steadfast in refusing to outline. We must rely completely upon the decisions of our Heavenly Father as to what is best for us. We must not even be guilty of saying, "Heavenly Father, Thy will be done but I just kind of hope it will work out this way." No, we must pray without any reservation, "Not my will, but Thine, be done." Sometimes in order to be absolutely certain that I am letting God do all the planning, I will pray this way, "God, I don't care whether I dig gold in Alaska or lasso cattle in Argentina, scrub floors in a Benevolent Association, or take in washing in Timbuktu, All I ask Father, is that your plan for me be in operation." And then I rejoice that it is God's plan, and God's plan only, that is in operation and absolutely nothing can interfere with it. Oh, with what complete assurance, freedom, and confidence, can we face the future knowing that God is caring for us in every experience.
THIRD. "Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way." (S&H 454:18) Isn't this a wonderful thought? So often you will hear an individual say, "But how am I to know what God's plan is .for me?" Or. "How am I to know what footsteps to take?" Or, "God may know but I certainly don't." This wonderful statement guarantees that man cannot help but know the right steps to take and the right decisions to make.
It is not a case of God knowing all the answers, and man being in the dark. God is forever pouring His thoughts and judgments into our waiting consciousness, thus inspiring us with the right ideas. It is the great Light of Truth which illumines our pathway so completely that we cannot help but see the right turn to take, or the right decision to make. Moreover, divine Mind literally points out to us which is the best of all His infinite opportunities. And what's more, your heavenly Father takes you by the hand and leads the way. Thus, anyone rejoicing that, "Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way," just can't escape doing the thing that is right for him to do. So, how do we know what is God's will and what is not? That is the beauty of Love's inspiration, illumination, and designation. When God's purpose is revealed, the way is so clear, so certain, that not only are we sure of it, but we are led, impelled, compelled to take it.
It is at this point in our demonstration where we must refuse to become discouraged if we see no signs or have had no leadings. Even though we haven't had any indication that things are happening, yet we know that they are. Don't forget that our God is a divinely active God, ever expressing Himself. Therefore, now and always wonderful things are happening. And regardless of whether we see any evidence of it or not, let us continue in our rejoicing that right now God's plan is in operation. Right now wonderful things are taking place. Why, right now God can be opening the way for that individual in California to come to your home and offer to buy that property you want to sell. Why, right at this instant God may be working things out in New York City whereby an organization will find it possible to ask you to fill a position that is far beyond anything you have ever dreamed of. Discouragement closes the door on illumination, inspiration, and designation. But courage and confidence that wonderful things are happening leave all the doors wide open for wonderful things to happen and for us to be aware of God's guidance. A young man had worked several weeks along these lines in order to find just the right job. Nothing had developed that was in keeping with his talents and abilities. But you know, he was so sure, so certain, so positive God's plan was in operation, and that wonderful things were happening, that he was not the least bit unhappy, or disturbed, or worried, or fearful. One day he was impelled to go to a nearby town and apply for a position with an organization that he hadn't even thought of before. Well, they had a position for him, and it was far more wonderful than anything he had dreamed of. After they had guaranteed him the position they said to him, "How did you happen to come today? If you had come yesterday, the position wouldn't have been open yet. If you had come tomorrow, we would have already filled it with one of our employees. How did you happen to come today?" The young man's reply was, "Only God knows. All I know was that I was impelled to come." However, this young man told me later that he realized that it was because he had stood steadfast in his joy and his certainty that wonderful things were happening, that he was able to hear the voice of God, able to feel the directive impulse. He said that if he had become worried or discouraged, or unhappy, he wouldn't have been in tune with the Infinite, and he'd probably still be looking for a job.
FOURTH. Divine Principle puts God's plan for man into operation, and there is no other power or presence to interfere with it one iota. This is the last point, but it is a tremendously important one. It is because of the operation of Principle which is the law, the way, the order of things, that there is absolutely no possibility of there being any other law to interfere with the operation of God's plan. Referring to this omnipotent power of divine Principle, Mrs. Eddy says (Misc. 174:10-12) "Let us open our affections to the Principle that moves all in harmony, from the falling of a sparrow to the rolling of a world." There can be no circumstances so great that Principle cannot compass it. There can be no need so insignificant that Principle cannot provide for it. Let us follow Mrs. Eddy's admonition to open our affection to Principle. Let us love, worship, and adore that supreme power which holds the universe in place. Let us revere the law which annihilates the possibility of there being a law to the contrary. There can be no medical law to interfere with God's plan for you; no law of lack or excess; no law of false theology, even a lack of education cannot interfere with God's plan for man, because the infinite power of divine Principle is putting God's plan into operation. Before the presence of divine Principle all intolerance, bigotry, misconceptions, and even human opinions, become as nothing, as a thing of naught. Remember that it is divine Principle that does all the placing, all the arranging, all the planning, all the relating and association, all the organizing, all the balancing, all the motivating. No wonder there is nothing to interfere with God's plan.
One day I had been working particularly with the second point. Refusing to outline, I had just finished praying, "Heavenly Father, I don't care whether I dig gold in Alaska, lasso cattle in Argentina, scrub floors in a Benevolent Association, or take in washings in Timbuktu-all I ask is that your plan for me be in operation,"-a friend of mine dropped, in. She was worried and fearful. She had all the symptoms of cancer. And though she had done a lot of praying in Christian Science, the condition had grown steadily worse. I asked her what she was rebellious about, unhappy about, disturbed about? She admitted she was all three of these things, because her husband just sat beside the television and did nothing. Upon questioning her I learned that for many years her husband had handled a business successfully for her and her family. Finally he had sold it for them at a profit. Now he wanted to do what he wanted to do. He wanted to move to California, build a motel and operate it. But this lady did not want to have anything to do with a motel and she certainly didn't want to move to California. It was a wonderful opportunity to help her to see that any wife ought to encourage her husband in his business ventures, but especially a Christian Science wife. For all the time she could be knowing it was not what her husband thought was right, or what she thought was right that would come to pass, but what God knew was right. She could be rejoicing that God's plan for them was in operation, and therefore, wonderful things were happening. I told her the way I had been praying and I suggested that we put it in her terms, that she didn't care whether she dug gold in Alaska, or lassoed cattle in Argentina, or was a housewife in Indiana, or operated the motel in California. All she wanted was that God's plan be in operation. She promised to pray that and she did. The husband built the motel in California. She learned that a business she thought would be boring was very interesting. One she thought she'd be ashamed of, she was really proud of. She came to appreciate California as a place to live far more than Indiana. One reason she hadn't wanted to move away from Indiana was that her son was going into the Navy. She felt that she ought to maintain his home for him here, so that whenever he would have a leave he could come home. Well, he did join the Navy, he was stationed in California and was able to come home almost every weekend. And so, from every point of view, even some I haven't time to mention, it was a complete demonstration. Oh yes, I must mention the fact that the relationship between husband and wife was far more wonderful than it had ever been. Naturally, with all the bitterness, the rebellion and the unhappiness gone, she was completely healed of cancer. When she wrote to me telling me of her final healing, she expressed gratitude for my sharing this way of praying with her. In the letter she enclosed the picture of a rock. The rock was the marker of a very early settlement in California, just three miles from their motel. And the name on the rock was Timbuktu! She said, "You see, I have come to Timbuktu after all."
Even though you are completely satisfied with your present situation, even though you might feel that there is nothing left to be desired, I sincerely hope that you will never let a day go by but what you rejoice in the great truth that God's plan for you is in operation and there is no other power or presence that can interfere with it. That's the way we can say with such absolute certainty that wonderful things are taking place now and ever will continue to take place.
Importance of Joy
Several times you have already heard me say that "I am not concerned about anything, wonderful things are taking place," is a positive, joyous attitude.
I would like to discuss with you the importance of the qualities of positiveness and joy in your application of Christian Science. You know, we are not actually practicing Christian Science unless joy is present in our thinking. What would your answer be if I were to ask you individually, "Are you happy?" What would your answer be if I were to ask you, "Are you supremely happy?" In every instance, every single individual in this audience should be able to say without any reservation, "Yes, I am supremely happy." Aren't we all followers of Jesus, the Christ? Do we not seek to obey his every command? (See Matt. 5:12) Jesus mentions the importance of joy and gladness, and he was forever telling his followers to rejoice and be exceeding glad. It's a very special message he gave to each of us (John 16:17) when he told us to rejoice and then added, "No man can take your joy from you. These things I have spoken unto you that my joy remain in you, and that your joy be full." You see, Jesus wasn't satisfied with our being a little bit happy he wanted us to be supremely happy. He wanted our Joy to be full. Mrs. Eddy recognizes the importance of happiness when she writes in the textbook, "Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it." The Psalms are full of commands to rejoice. "Be glad in the Lord and rejoice ye righteous; and shout for joy all ye that are upright in heart." "...thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness." "Yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord." Do not these very words and the spirit they impart cause your hearts to be uplifted and make you desire to sing praises unto God?
Occasionally, you will hear some one say, "I want to be happy but I don't know how to be. How can I rejoice when I really am low in spirit, and don't actually feel glad?" Let us deal with happiness just as we would any other desirable quality. If you want health and wealth, you claim it in its spiritual sense. Therefore, claim happiness now. Not just in a degree, but fully and completely. After all, because we reflect the Supreme Being, we must claim His qualities in the superlative. Claim that you are supremely happy. Claim that you are one of the happiest women in the universe. Listen to the way Mrs. Eddy tells us to demonstrate happiness. (Hea.10:20)
"If you wish to be happy argue with yourself on the side of happiness; take the side you wish to carry, and be careful not to talk on both sides, or to argue stronger for sorrow than for joy. You are the attorney for the case, and will win or lose according to your plea." Just think, Mrs. Eddy has specifically appointed you, and you, and you to be the attorney to plead the case for happiness and joy. Just how have you been pleading the case? Have you been arguing the case for sadness, for moderate joy, or for supreme happiness? Have you been testifying that you are supremely happy now, or that you would be if something happened, or when some circumstance might be changed? Oh, let us ever win in demonstrating supreme joy by such consistent argument as, "I am supremely happy. I know it. I understand it. I acknowledge it. I am grateful and thrilled to be the happy child of God; not only am I supremely happy, but I feel it. I am demonstrating supreme happiness. In fact, I shout my joy and gladness from the housetops. Moreover, everyone sees me as a supremely joyous image and likeness of God! Exclamation point!!! Period... Full stop." Anyone who testifies concerning his joy in such a manner cannot help but feel the boundless bliss of Soul and the rapture of divine Mind.
We are claiming only that which is true about ourselves. The lie is that man could be capable of being unhappy. Man, never having been born into matter, living in the heaven of divine consciousness, sees nothing, hears nothing, feels nothing to be unhappy about. Since he is ever in the presence of God, good, there is only one cause for joy and rapture in his experience. Mrs. Eddy established the fact that man is ever at the standpoint of joy when she wrote in the textbook, "Man is not a pendulum, swinging between joy and sorrow." (S&H 246:1-3) Notice how Mrs. Eddy puts no limitation on the joy that we are to express, for she emphasizes that man is tributary to boundless bliss. It is much easier to demonstrate happiness, if our cause for happiness is scientific. What is it that makes you happy? Is it person, place, or thing? Is it home, church, or employment? Is it human events or circumstances? Are you ever tempted to say, "I shall be happy when" -or "I should be happy if..." There is only one sure, safe, permanent basis for happiness, and that is God. Over and over the Bible tells us to rejoice in the Lord. Our textbook tells us "Happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul. (80:30)" Rejoice then and be exceeding glad that it is God that makes you happy. I know that many of you have heard the beautiful solo sung in our churches, which ends with the line, "God is, this is enough to know."
Plead the case for happiness with absolute conviction that just the existence of God is enough to produce joy and happiness. Whenever I find myself tempted to express anything other than joy, I open our textbook to these lines (S&H 520:3-5) "Unfathom-able Mind is expressed. The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space. That is enough!" (It is truly thrilling to contemplate the depth of Love, the breadth of Love, the height of Love, the might of Love, the majesty of Love and the glory of infinite Love filling all space.) And then I ask myself, "...is that enough to make you supremely happy?" Then I have to admit, "It certainly is!"
Oh, isn't it wonderful that our happiness cannot be limited or restricted by human circumstances! Our joy does not depend upon whether or not we win that automobile, or get that apartment, or marry that girl, or win that election, or receive that inheritance, or obtain that salary increase, or experience that healing. No, our happiness depends solely upon the fact that God is. Therefore, our joy and happiness can never be taken from us, for God, our one and only cause for happiness, is forever with us.
Those of you who heard my husband's lecture on "Discovering Harmonious Relationships Through Christian Science" may remember the very apropos illustration he used in speaking of the oil of gladness. First of all, he says that saying, "I'll be happy when this event takes place", or "I'll be happy if the circumstances change," is actually postponing our happiness or our heaven. He likened such an attitude to an individual who would take a car that was smoking, hot, smelled funny, made funny noises, into a filling station. And then when the attendant would tell him that he needed oil he would respond, "When my car runs smoothly, when it no longer gets hot and makes any unpleasant noises, then I will reward it with a quart of oil." How foolish! The oil must go in first, then the car will run smoothly. Just so in our daily experience. We must first pour in the oil of gladness; then our human affairs will be lubricated so as to run smoothly.
It really makes no difference what your profession-you will be a better teacher, better lawyer, carpenter, office manager, accountant, housewife, reader or practitioner, if you are rejoicing in the Lord. Our work is done more quickly, more effortlessly, more successfully, when we are serving with joy and gladness. It is much easier to demonstrate the right sense of home, companionship, supply, employment, harmonious relationships with all our fellow men, if we claim the joy that is ours.
Not only is it true that pouring in the oil of gladness benefits all of our affairs, but it benefits our bodies, our health. If we wish to be healthy, we should take great doses of the oil of gladness. There is absolutely no better medicine. Way back in the days of Solomon, Solomon himself recognized that man's health was influenced by joy, when he said, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones." (Prov. 17:22).
Did you ever hear of a supremely happy individual manifesting heart trouble, skin disease, arthritis, rheumatism, digestive difficulties, tuberculosis, or cancer? No, none of these claims can be manifested when supreme happiness on the basis of God's allness is being consistently manifested. In fact, no matter what the physical claim may be, one of the most important steps in annihilating the error is to help the patient find his true happiness. Joy and gladness heal. Remember that Jesus asked the palsied man to rejoice before he was healed.
A Second Reader in one of our churches in my home city suddenly found herself unable to walk. The condition proved embarrassing to her as well as alarming, because here it was the end of the week, she was supposed to read Sunday, and introduce a lecturer Monday night. It seemed that the harder she worked in Science the worse became her condition. Finally, she stopped working. She turned to God and said, "Father if I never walk again, I know that you are my loving Father-Mother God, and I am your image and likeness." She said, in giving her testimony, that she was so happy, so thrilled, so blissful in the knowledge that God was her Father-Mother, that she honestly didn't care if she ever walked again. It was then that she was healed. She was so thrilled, so happy, so satisfied, so contented that God was her Father-Mother, that absolutely nothing else was important-not even walking. No wonder she had her healing! She was literally putting God first and the walking was added unto her.
Do you remember that in the opening testimony I brought out a couple of times that, regardless of what came up in the bodies or in the affairs of these individuals, they refused to be concerned and they rejoiced that wonderful things were taking place? I am asking all of you today to adopt that same joyous approach to things. Regardless of what appears to take place in your bodies or in your affairs, maintain your joy, argue and plead for the case of happiness, demonstrate boundless bliss-on the basis that God is the source of your joy and happiness and therefore, it can never be taken from you. Then, you too will be seeing wonderful things take place.
The Positive Attitude
How would you rate yourself as a Christian Scientist-positive or negative? Remember, that in the testimony given, it was the positive attitude, as well as the joyous attitude, which brought about such wonderful results. Do you accept the truth wholeheartedly without any reservation? If you do, then you are positive. If error seems to present itself, do you instantly reverse it and substitute the truth? If so, you are positive. Are you absolutely sure and certain that God is All and everything is perfect? Rate yourself positive. Are you constant, consistent, unwavering, steadfast and even stubborn in standing with the truth? If so, rate yourself A plus for positiveness. What about your expectation? Are you always expecting wonderful things to happen? Do you have absolute faith that only good can come to pass? If so, there is a bit of convincing evidence that you are positive. I'm sure that it would be impossible to find a negative Christian Scientist in this Association. Here are some bits of evidence which point to negative Christian Scientists. The individual hopes that he can be healed, rather than knowing that he will be; the one who thinks that Christian Science works for everybody else but not for him; and the individual who is always thinking of expecting that the worst will happen. Then you've heard of this attitude-"It is just too good to be true." And what about such comments as "Oh, yes, I know I'm really perfect, but I certainly don't manifest it." Or, "I have a rich Heavenly Father, but He hasn't shared any of His wealth with me."
Then there's the individual who is sure one minute and not so sure the next, standing steadfast in the truth one day but wavering the next, resolving never to give up the perfect concept, and then giving it up at the very first presentation .of error. Oh, aren't you glad that none of these descriptions that might apply to a negative Christian Scientist fits you? Listen to what the dictionary has to say about the word "Positive" and you will see that it is a qualification which is essential to being a Christian Scientist-"Confident, certain, sure." And I loved this added bit, "Aggressively certain." In knowing that God is All and that He is expressing Himself, and, therefore, the results have to be wonderful, how much more thrilling it is to be confident, certain, sure, rather than to lack confidence, to be uncertain, unsure. Another definition is, "leaving no doubt." There certainly isn't much doubt as to the outcome of an individual's experience when you hear him say, "I'm not concerned about anything, wonderful things are taking place." In our own thinking, in our own contemplation, in our own praying, there should never be any doubt about the Allness of God and the perfection of His creation. There should only be absolute conviction that God is All and everything is perfect. And oh, how important it is in the sharing of our thinking with others that our every statement carries a ring of sureness, confidence, conviction that good is supreme and there, that God's blessings are ever at hand.
What kind of a God do we have? Is there ever any interruption in His being All-in-All? Is there ever any uncertainty in God as Principle, any deviation in God as Truth, any inconsistency in God as Love? James gives us a wonderful description of our positive, changeless God when he writes, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Thus, because we are the children of God, made in His image and likeness, we have no choice but to express the qualities of no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
We are all familiar with that glorious promise of freedom if we will but know the truth, but there is a certain prerequisite given in knowing the truth. When Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free," the prerequisite he presented was, "If ye continue in my work,-Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
When is it that we are most aware of the presence of God? When is it that we feel His presence, see His allness, behold His perfect universe and behold His perfect man? Is it not when we continue in His word? Is it not when we hold thought steadfast to the enduring, the good and the true? Mrs. Eddy tells us, "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." Oh, then is when the inspiration of divine Mind pours into our waiting consciousness. Then is when we are filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Do you remember Stephen's experience? It was when Stephen looked steadfastly into heaven that he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.
The attitude of steadfastness is essential to healing. Our Leader gives a specific rule for healing when she states, "When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious-as Life eternally is-can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not."
The attitude of dominion, of standing steadfast, of persistence, of constancy, of immovableness, is a demand made upon us by our Heavenly Father. It is a law laid upon us by Christian Science. Therefore, we have no choice but to be steadfast and constant. However, this is not beyond the ability of man. Dominion is our heritage. We inherit the dominion to be consistent and steadfast from our Heavenly Father with whom is no variableness. Moreover, God knowingly gave man dominion over all. In speaking of this dominion, our Leader says, "His birthright is dominion, not subjection. He is Lord of the belief in earth and heaven, himself subordinate alone to his Maker. This is the Science of Being."
Controlled by Truth, we are forced to manifest consistency and invariableness. And with God as our Mind, governing and controlling us, we have no choice but to be sure and positive. Mrs. Eddy tells us to hold perpetually the thought that it is the Christ, the Holy Ghost that enables us to demonstrate with scientific certainty.
This makes it very clear that we are not alone in our efforts to express dominion. God is ever at hand. Not only enabling us, but impelling us, compelling us, forcing us to demonstrate with certainty, with sureness, with positiveness, with constancy, with persistence the rules of healing. Notice that, in presenting this statement, Mrs. Eddy does not say that we should have this thought today, but not
tomorrow, or that we should have the thought every other hour. She says, "hold perpetually the thought..." Oh, there was certainly no variableness or deviation in her approach, was there?
There is a little prayer that Mrs. Eddy once shared with a friend of hers that has enabled me to express my dominion in standing steadfast. This is a prayer that Mrs. Eddy gave to Laura Lathrop when she asked her to establish Second Church in New York City: "There is no other mind to tempt me, harm me, or control me. I spiritually understand this, and am Master of the occasion." It is because the one infinite divine Mind is controlling us that we are
incapable of being weak or being lacking in confidence, steadfastness and constancy. We cannot even be tempted to lose faith, to be uncertain, Instead, we are master of the occasion. We are those steadfast, positive, sure, certain, consistent, persistent children of that one Father-Mother God with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning.
I would like to conclude this discussion on the importance of positiveness with Paul's words (I Cor. 15:38), "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."