A guest post written by Sheila Kelly
I found Junior High exciting. For the first time I experienced having a different teacher for every class and being able to choose electives for the first time, as students were encouraged to start making choices about what was important in their lives. Friends started talking about their ideals, and I really started thinking about happiness – which for me meant not only happiness for myself but also everyone else being fulfilled and happy, too.
It was then that I realized that my mom always seemed happy. So I asked her, “Mom, you used to be happy most of the time, but how can you be happy all the time?” She looked at me with the most loving and appreciative smile and said, “Dear, I just see love everywhere I look!”
At my perplexed look, she gave me a simple example: when she looked at the lines in the sidewalks, she thought of the love that made provision for the expansion and contraction of the cement by changes in temperature, so it would not crack; and how perfectly the workman had made them. Each recognition of love for her led to another, such as the love of the people planning for the city to provide nice sidewalks so there was a clean, safe place to walk, and a separate paved road for the cars and bicycles. So her thoughts were continually filled with love and gratitude.
I was amazed at this inspired way of looking at everyday things, which could make someone happy all the time. So the next day on my mile walk to school, I decided to try it. There was a house on a corner that always had lots of bright flowers. It was easy to see the evidence of love there. This time, instead of just looking at the pretty flowers, I thought about the owners who had planted and cared for them, and the beautiful colors of all the different kinds of flowers greeting everyone who came by. It filled me with happiness and love for them.
But at the corner, there was a 4-way stop. I used to wish there was no stop sign there when riding my bike – having to stop and start up again, especially when no cars, bikes, or people were there. Now I was going to have to see love there, too. So I thought about the reason the signs were there – to be sure everyone got safely across the street by stopping and taking turns, even though I rarely saw anyone else there. Suddenly, I was as grateful for the stop signs, as I was for the flowers! And after three days of consciously choosing to see love everywhere, it became nearly automatic. I loved seeing what was really there all along.
My mom also read one section of the Christian Science Bible Lesson to us at breakfast and reminded us that everyone was created in the image and likeness of God, so each one was a unique combination of God’s qualities – all good. And that we could discover these wonderful qualities in everyone and to remember that every single person was needed! It was such a joy to see everyone this way! I loved the nature of God that Mary Baker Eddy found in the Bible and her definition of God in the Glossary of her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “GOD. The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.”
I’m so glad Christ Jesus lived the nature of God for us to see. Following his example brings true happiness.