Watching or watching out?

Jesus said: “…I say unto all, watch.” (Mark 13:37)

I’ve often pondered the distinction between “watching” and “watching out”.

I realize that watching out keeps our focus on error – on the bad stuff – and brings with it a sense of insecurity and paranoia.

On the other hand, watching or keeping watch is a spiritual activity which means mentally staying alert and keeping our focus on God, good. Watching can also mean watching your thoughts and determine if thoughts are from God or not.

Thoughts from God always include a sense of spiritual dominion, freedom, peace & joy.

These are the good thoughts – the only thoughts we need to listen to. Imagine living in a society where everyone only listened to good thoughts? It’s an interesting thing to think about.

Marriage


People say that marriage takes a lot of “work”. That sounds a bit daunting. I’m discovering that marriage is a “witnessing of each other’s spiritual identity.” The “work” is because relationships hold up a mirror and show us where we need to grow.

Marriage is witnessing that your spouse is the loved and cared for child of God. When we look to man as the source of fulfillment, or perhaps to keep us from feeling lonely, or to satisfy all our hopes & dreams, we are disappointed. There will come a time when that person is not around or too busy or simply incapable of fulfilling your hopes and dreams. In these moments we have the glorious, healing opportunity to turn to God, divine Love, and realize we have never been alone; we have always been tenderly cared for by our Father/Mother God who is satisfying our hopes and dreams right now because She made them in our heart.

Each month there is a something special read at my church. For me it is such a blessing and a guiding light in my relationships. I pray with this passage each morning as prepare for my day. It’s called “A Rule for Motives & Acts” and it goes like this:

Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church. In Science, divine Love alone governs man; and a Christian Scientist reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness. The members of this Church should daily watch and pray to be delivered from all evil, from prophesying, judging, condemning, counseling, influencing or being influenced erroneously.

As I meditate on this each morning it gives me stillness and humility to take through my day. It helps me see that my will isn’t the “right” will; my unsolicited advice doesn’t encourage someone else’s new discovery; my judgement doesn’t heal others; looking down at someone doesn’t enable them to rise up; and influencing someone doesn’t help them turn to God – the source of all true guidance for that individual.

I humbly pray and strive to express this “rule for motives and acts” more in my daily life. And it alerts me to see that marriage can be “attacked” by these harmful characteristics; if entertained, they can uproot the seeds of joy, hope, patience, and unselfishness that have been planted in marriage.

Here are some closing quotes that have helped keep me spiritually grounded in marriage:

Soul [God] has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul [God].

Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.

Mutual compromises will often maintain a compact which might otherwise become unbearable.

Kindred tastes, motives, and aspirations are necessary to the formation of a happy and permanent companionship.

Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man.

All the quotes shared in this post are by Mary Baker Eddy; they can be found in her main written work Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

My dog Nya

I love my dog Nya.

Nya is so radiant with joy. She is always happy. She also expresses the spiritual qualities of readiness and alertness. And she is so energetic.

She is ready to go whenever I say, and she always watches me to see if she is needed to respond.

She is a true child of God in this way.  May we all be as vigil in our spiritual devoutness; keeping our eyes on our Father-Mother God at all times; joyfully waiting for God’s call, expectant and ready.

She is so pure and innocent. She never has a malicious motive or purpose. Her purity is a wonder to me.

We all have the spiritual innocence and purity that we see express in these friends in our lives.  It reminds me of  an excerpt from Mary Baker Eddy’s address at the National Convention in Chicago on June 13, 1888.

“Beloved children, the world has need of you, — and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives. You need also to watch, and pray that you preserve these virtues unstained, and lose them not through contact with the world. What grander ambition is there than to maintain in yourselves what Jesus loved, and to know that your example, more than words, makes morals for mankind!”

She is referencing Jesus’ love for children in this excerpt. When human reasoning tempted Jesus’ disciples and they asked the question, “Who will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus responded by calling a little child over, and he said: “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Let’s claim the innocence, purity, joy – the childlikeness – we see around us as our own. And keep our lives, our thought, untainted from the world.