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Inspired or intellectual? How do you keep on the right path? Application Ideas for the Weekly Bible Lesson on Mind

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Sunday, August 13th, 2006

Inspired or intellectual? How do you keep on the right path?
Application Ideas for the Weekly Bible Lesson on "Mind" for August 14-20, 2006
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S. of St. Louis, MO

Editor's Note:
The following background information and application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp.

The temptation too often is to reason through what we should do and depend on intellectual processes to achieve our personally pre-determined goals. There was an old T.V. show called "Father Knows Best." It is true - our heavenly Father/Mother God (Mind) does know best - always. Trust and obey the leadings of Mind, and you'll never be disappointed with the results.
 
Golden Text: Key Word is ALL!
The Message by Eugene Peterson translates: "Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track." We can't afford to ever believe that we know better than God or don't need God. Nor should we make a judgment according to intellectual reasoning (our own understanding) or material evidence. Our Father ALWAYS knows best! And His ways are higher than our ways. 
 
Responsive Reading: Wisdom is the Lord's - Get it!
We sometimes think we're pretty smart, don't we? Yet, we've all faced times when we're just not sure what the right thing to do is, or where to turn for answers. Ultimately, there is only one answer. That is to turn every decision - every thought - over to God. He gives skill, wit, and wisdom (v. 7) and substantiates, supports, and helps those that "walk uprightly." (v. 8) Look for other qualities of wisdom (or Mind) that God imparts and other descriptions of what we need to do in order to take advantage of God's gift of wisdom. I like this definition of discretion that I found in my Webster's dictionary - "the ability to make responsible decisions." This ability preserves us - keeps us safe - and is the gift of divine Mind. (v. 11) Keeping our eyes straight ahead (focused on Mind) establishes a path that is safe and sure - even if we can't always see where it is leading.
 
Section I: He directs our path - be willing to follow!
How many times do we do what Johanan did? We pray for guidance, get an answer, and then refuse to follow through - believing that we still know best. (B-3) How often do we pray for guidance, but continue to weigh the pros and cons and intellectually reason through the question, following the path determined by human reasoning, rather than relying on divine Mind - regardless of human logic? The key is seeing that there really aren't many minds. ALL is Mind - God. (S-1) From a limited mortal perspective, there appear to be many individuals all trying to figure out where they belong in the big scope of things. In reality there is ONE individuality - one Ego - and the sooner we accept our role as reflection, the sooner it will become apparent how beautifully God governs His individual nature, in which there is only harmony - never conflict of any kind. (S-2) Starting with the allness of God and accepting that understanding isn't something that we POSSESS, but rather a quality of God (Mind) that we reflect. When we are willing to "wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously," we find that "he directs our path." (S-5) Seeking and following, we can be sure that it is the right path - even when that isn't clear from a limited mortal perspective. The higher we go, the clearer the view!
 
Section II: Unlimited ability - No limits!
We've probably all felt it from time to time - "What have I gotten myself into? I don't have the training or the experience to pull this off!" At which time we realize that we have to stop relying on our mortal abilities and rely on God for the necessary wisdom. (B-6) God forever supplies the ability (the grace) to complete whatever "duty" has come our way. (B-9) Bezaleel and Aholiab weren't trained craftsmen, but God gave them the wisdom to do what they needed to do for the temple (B-7) Ideas come from Mind - unfathomable Mind - and they MUST be expressed. ((S-6) Approaching things from a limited mortal perspective, we can't begin to imagine the infinite nature of our capacities. But as "humanity gains the true conception of man and God" there are NO LIMITS! (S-9) Think about what it means to be coexistent and eternal with God - with Mind. (S-10) No separation, means no learning curve - no requirement of time to get used to a new school, new classes, a new job, a new family situation, a new church duty. Just change the perspective from separation to coexistence and ask Mind to reveal itself through Science - through demonstrable Truth. Approach a new subject from the standpoint of knowing that you already know what you need to know, rather than going through the process of learning. Studying, assignments and tests then become a glorious opportunity to demonstrate that you already know what you need to know! (S-8)
 
Section III: Turn to Wisdom - God speaks to each one as we can understand
Having wisdom is key to everything! Check out the first verse (B-10) according to The Message: "There's nothing better than being wise, knowing how to interpret the meaning of life. Wisdom puts light in the eyes, and gives gentleness to words and manners." Wisdom is the gift of God. (B-12) Claim it. Searching for his father's lost donkeys without success, Saul finally turns for help where he should have started looking - to God, through the prophet, Samuel. (B-11) I found it interesting that what prompted Saul to stop his helter-skelter search was concern that his father would be worrying about him. Love propelled him to turn rightly. If you read on, you'll discover that Samuel anointed Saul as Israel's first king at this meeting, and that later Saul himself was found prophesying. Whether we pray on our own or get some help, wisdom is always available with answers to our problems. Samuel didn't have first-hand knowledge about the donkeys. He simply voiced what he heard from God. When thought is in rapport (in relation) with divine Mind ALL things can be known - time isn't a factor. (S-12) And with this knowing, comes healing. The Science of being teaches that ALL is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation. (S&H 468) The manifestation (thought) and Mind can't, in reality, be separated. They remain in perfect relation one to the other. As we understand the law of God as perfect harmony, we demonstrate the fact that nothing can be lost - not a thing, idea, friend or loved one, or even ability. Our great potential (the abilities and possibilities that seem hidden) come out and are ours to use as we develop our spirituality. (S-13&14) Webster's early dictionaries included a definition of spirituality as our "intellectual nature". Modern usage has shifted intellect to the brain - to matter. Let's take it back to where it belongs - as an expression of the divine Mind, wisdom! Seek wisdom as you choose friends, classes, a job, or what sport to play. You'll never be disappointed, and you'll even be able to help others find answers!
 
Section IV: In trouble? Seek God, stay on the right path, and be free!
What gets us into "trouble" is thinking that there ever is a time that we don't need God. "Crying out to God, living in dependence upon God, is not simply an emergency measure but a way of life. ... There is no such thing as self-sufficiency, for human life depends on God."(New Interpreter's Bible, Vol. IV, p. 1119) When we're down, how tempting it is to turn to something other than God for our help - to our own "toughness", to food, sleep, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, medicine, even human comfort and affection. (S-15, 16, &17) David understood that all we need is to reach out to God's mercy - God's eternal tenderness and compassion. Then, rather than placing our faith in something that further ties us to the limitations of matter, we are freed to be lifted up HIGHER by Science - the unlimited nature of God's law of Love. (S-20) Claim your heritage of freedom. You are dominion man! (S-18) Rather then trying to appease the human mind, think out from the ultimate freedom of knowing there is one Mind - one Ego. Then you find that your body is your servant - not your master! There is no mind in matter, so stop wasting your time trying to find satisfaction in matter - only to find pain! (S-19) What are the higher enjoyments that truly satisfy? (S-20) Maybe seeking your good in the good of another - your happiness in the happiness of another - and always, always, always seeking divine Wisdom to guide your path? Try it. Perhaps not easy - but well worth it - and uplifting!
 
Section V: Extension of thought leads to extended movement of body
Is movement a physical thing? The Bible tells us, "in him we live, and move, and have our being." (B-20) Is God physical? Then is movement physical? If it were, how could Jesus have healed the withered hand through mental means alone? (B-18) The strict laws of the Sabbath said that only someone who was dying could be healed. This man wasn't dying, but his right hand was worthless, making life difficult. On top of that it was shameful to have to use the left hand for anything but bodily hygiene. Jesus was caught in the middle - having to choose between freeing the man or yielding to the pressure of the Pharisees. It couldn't have been much of a choice for Jesus. Of course he opted for expanding thought - setting man free - rather than constricting thought by furthering laws of limitation. What laws would try to restrict our movement? Aren't today's health laws as restrictive as the Pharisaical laws of Jesus' day? What about the laws that say you'll be hurt if you move in such and such a way or even if stay out in the sun too long? Or that arthritis or some other disease of the joints or muscles can just attack people and limit them? Or that you have to expect the body to slow down as you get older? Are you going to put up with that garbage, or appeal to the Science of Mind - the same Science that Jesus demonstrated for us? (S-23) The Pharisees threatened Jesus if he disregarded their laws. Material belief threatens harm to us if we disregard its health laws. But, things worked out pretty well for Jesus - so we can expect nothing less. Christian Science - the Science of Mind - changes our condition by stirring "the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind." (S-24) Mind governs the body - in every instance!!!! (S-25) The human mind just needs to get with the program and accept that fact. We need to change our perspective from limited matter to limitless Mind. Is there anything an idea can't do - any direction it can't move? Paul taught us to "put off" the human mind. The human mind (with all its fears and limitations) would have us bound by the shackles of material belief - like a prisoner is made to walk around with chains on his feet and wrists. Christian Science provides the key to take off those shackles. What are you waiting for? Memorize and practice this: "All that God imparts (and that's everything real) moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power." (S-26)
 
Section VI: Establishing the path of peace - a global prayer!
Do we just pray for ourselves - or maybe our immediate family? Why would we do that? Mind is infinite and we have an obligation to pray for "all men." (B-22) How? Simply by KNOWING that there is ONE Mind and this Mind governs ALL - and keeping every thought in line with that understanding! If we're going to pray effectively for world peace, we need to start by demonstrating peace within our families and our communities. We'll never accomplish that while believing that there are many minds, often in conflict with each other. Or by believing that there are good minds and bad minds, or good and bad at all. There is only good! It is a FACT - "The real jurisdiction of the world is in Mind ..." (S-27) Once again, ALL is Mind! In proportion as we thoroughly understand that "all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love, mankind become perfect, war will cease, and the true brotherhood of man WILL be established." (S-29) We have to start with spiritualizing our sense of man - being sure that we aren't confusing the false sense of a mortal man (with a supposed mind separate from God) with the man that is the infinite and eternal manifestation of Mind. Again, it is THOUGHT that has to change. Elevate YOUR thought to see as God sees - achieve a state of spiritual apprehension - and the result will be an established path of peace! (S-30)

Camp Director's Note: The above sharing is the latest in a long series of CedarS Bible Lesson "mets" (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. This document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms. * Originally sent JUST to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "mets" are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson in the books. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The citations referenced (i.e. B1and S28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "met" (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.)
Enjoy!

Warren Huff, Director      director@cedarscamps.org
CedarS Camps Office 19772 Sugar Drive
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

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