At our testimony meeting a few Wednesdays ago this passage from Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy was included in the readings that evening. It is a paragraph where Mrs Eddy is writes’
‘... business men and cultured scholars have found that Christian Science enhances their endurance and mental powers, enlarges their perception of character, gives them acuteness and comprehensiveness and an ability to exceed their ordinary capacity. The human mind, imbued with this spiritual understanding, becomes more elastic, is capable of greater endurance, escapes somewhat from itself, and requires less repose.
I am familiar with this passage but when I heard it read that evening it was the word ‘elastic’ that really stood out to me and over the past few weeks I have been thinking about this word in relation to my thinking. Elastic thinking!
One of the definitions of ‘elastic’ found in the dictionary is:
"An object or material able to resume its normal shape spontaneously after being stretched or compressed."
Sometimes we might feel that our thinking is stressed, pulled and stretched this way and that, possibly even to breaking point and the limit of our human capacity. Like an elastic band that can be twisted and contorted and pulled to lengths far beyond its normal proportions, many of us will recognise occasions when our mental state has felt like this.
So how can we deal with situations when we feel that sense of being stressed to breaking point? How can we regain a sense of mental peace and wellbeing?
Mrs. Eddy tells us how this can be done in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 210)where she says: "Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited."
I reasoned that if God is ever present, all wise and all knowing, we, as His spiritual reflections and beloved children, have the ability and dominion to express peace and harmony in our daily lives, as well as maintaining a mental stability and resilience.
Filling our thoughts with every God like quality we express and actively silencing any other suggestions, we will find that, just like that elastic band that can ‘resume its normal shape’ so our mental stability and inner peace will return and can be maintained.
In thinking about this ‘elastic thinking’ I realised that there was another aspect that needed more consideration.
A second dictionary definition for elastic is:
The ability to encompass much variety and change; flexible and adaptable.
Are there times when our thinking is like a clenched fist and not an open hand willing to listen, be flexible and adaptable? Are there times when we feel ‘my way’ is the only right way?
I concluded that, what this really comes down to, was just how much are we really listening to God and His directing? Are we willing to yield and recognise that there is only one way and that’s God’s way?
In Science and Health, Mrs Eddy writes: ‘The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind’ (p. 162).
So each day I am now considering ‘elastic band’ thinking, not just for me but for everyone. Prayerfully affirming that, as spiritual children of God, we all reflect His qualities and therefore can be assured of inner peace and stability. Yielding to God’s directing and sincerely listening for His guidance we will find a freedom from any mental turbulence and experience a more permanent and harmonious peace in our lives.