Spring (I think) has finally sprung! (I’m cautious here because where I live—above the 1,000 ft. level—we had six inches of snow on April 6! It was heavy enough to take down a venerable apple tree.) Flowers and leaves are suddenly everywhere, as if by magic.
Last month I talked one Sunday about having always wanted a magic wand, something you could just wave and—Presto!—what you dreamed of would appear. I said our ability to use our consciousness and faith to create was very much like that although it seemed that “Presto!” is a relative term! The process might take a month, a year, or a decade. (So it’s more like “P-p-p-r-r-e-e-s-s-t-t-o-o-o!”) But once the desire has been made manifest, regardless of how much time it took in earthly minutes and hours, the effect is like magic: it seems to just suddenly appear, like the bush that was bare just yesterday and today is bursting with leaves and flowers.
That word “Presto!” has stayed with me (maybe because one of my students gifted me with a beautiful little wand the day after that talk and I’ve been playing with it ever since!). Every story we hear about magic always seems to have the magic word; if not “Presto,” it’s “Abracadabra” or “Shazam!” Somehow we’ve always known there’s magic in the word.
The Bible tells us, “In the beginning was the Word.” That was Jesus, the Word made flesh. God spoke the word upon the void and all of creation sprang forth. In Religious Science we are made aware of the importance and power of our words. We are told to be careful about the words we speak or even think: they have creative power because they express our beliefs and intentions (the true power). If you want to conjure up a cold, there’s no surer way to do it than to yammer constantly about the inevitability of the flu and cold season! If you want to draw love into your life, become aware and talk about the inevitability of love for everyone. If you want more prosperity, speak it.
Yes, what you say (outloud or to yourself) is extremely important. But it’s not about learning the right incantation and holding to it. If it were, we would all learn it, have a zillion dollars, and watch inflation go through the roof. As I said earlier, it’s not what you say, it’s what you believe (the words simply express what you believe). In each instance of Jesus’ healing someone, they tried to give him the credit, but he always said, “It’s your faith that has made you whole,” or “It’s done unto you as you believe,” or “The Father within, He doeth the works.” He was always trying to tell us it’s about our consciousness, it’s within, and it’s up to us to make the choice.
When we experience what we experience in today’s world, we have a choice to make. We can either curse and bemoan it (and that’s very tempting when it comes to things like the economy, child abuse, degrading the environment, etc.), or we can bless and praise any and every thing possible. The power of positive thinking cannot be over-estimated. How do you praise child abuse? Obviously, you don’t. But you do praise the love and protection of God that is forever available, and know that the highest and greatest good of all is always being served. You don’t praise poverty, but you do praise the abundance that is God and know that you, as an expression of God, always have access to that abundance. You do praise the wisdom of God that is made available to you as you learn to listen for it; then you will know what to do in all of these other situations.
When we do our form of affirmative prayer called spiritual mind treatment, we often say, “And I speak my word that….” We are acknowledging that we have this power and we are using it for beneficial results in the world. We encourage everyone to think about their own power and to use it wisely. It really is possible to speak improvements into your life using the same power God did when it was spoken, “Let there be light.” Let there always be light (and love and compassion and joy) in all your words.
Rev. Mary Midkiff