It can be hard to keep awake mentally and spiritually with so many technological and other distractions. Even though Christ Jesus lived so many years ago, he gave us practical wisdom to deal with these distractions. He said,
“what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”*
Watch our thinking. Be mindful. Be proactive in thought. Watch what is going and coming from our consciousness. Much of our spiritual practice consists of being watchful of our thought: what am I focusing on? Is this really helping me progress? How is my relationship with God? How am I thinking about my fellow humans? Is this promotive of my spiritual identity? What am I believing truly has power in the world?
Being watchful and aware of our consciousness is a great practice to cultivate. Better health, more harmonious relationships, and greater opportunities come from being alert. They stem from our oneness with God and are inherent in our relationship with God.
God’s will for us is freedom, harmony, and joy. We can experience these as we draw closer to God and become more aware of God. This is a daily practice — moment by moment. We can always be checking in — am I focused on divine Truth, Life, and Love right now? How can I be a healing presence in this moment? Can I magnify the good? As we are more mindful of our own thoughts, we inevitably bring healing and bless those around us. We will uplift the atmosphere at the office, we will bring healing to our family relationships, we will comfort and strengthen ourselves and others.
When his students asked Jesus what some of the essential ingredients were to healing, he replied “prayer and fasting”. (Matthew 17:21) Fasting doesn’t have to be only about food. The definition of fasting can be expanded to include anything that would detract our attention from Spirit; anything that would take our focus off good. This could mean depriving ourselves from being news junkies and tuning in to what God is saying; or depriving ourselves of selfishness and being more generous; it could mean depriving ourselves of worry and doubt by focusing more on faith and trust. We can fast from materialism and anything that would try to captivate our attention — anything that doesn’t allow our thought to move forward towards progress, health, and healing. This type of fasting doesn’t deprive us of anything. Rather it allows us to “feast” on God! It keeps us so focused on God, that we become better, more satisfied, healthier, and happier.
Spiritual author and teacher, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote to a student,
“Keep awake by loving more.”**
Loving God primarily, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, keeps us awake to God’s presence. It keeps us tuned in to God, to be aware of all that God, good, is saying to us. God’s guidance and love are like radio waves filling the atmosphere — we just need to tune in to hear exactly the right message. Being awake to Spirit, enables us to see and know who we really are, helps us feel the love and peace of God’s presence, and inspires us with right activities that bless and heal the world.
So, we don’t have to blend in with the crowd — doing what others do and thinking what others think. We have power and authority over our life and consciousness. We can take our thinking into our own hands and feel the peace, love, and assurance coming straight to us from the Divine. We know that God’s will for us is only peace, only goodness, only love, courage, and strength. And we can bring these into our experience by keeping them close in our thought.
Know, then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage and trespass on Love.***
**We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Vol II, p. 117
***Pulpit and Press, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 3
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