“Be it slow or fast…”

To the Big Children

Father-Mother good, lovingly
Thee I seek, –
Patient, meek, In the way
Thou hast, – 
Be it slow or fast,
Up to Thee.

-Mary Baker Eddy

When I was a youngster my mom taught me to say the above prayer at night before I went to sleep. When I think of this prayer now it brings back cozy memories of Mom tucking me into bed, and saying this prayer with me.

The prayer was written by the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. I still sometimes say it at night before I go to sleep. But until last night I’d always had a problem with the words: “In the way Thou hast, – Be it slow or fast…” It sort of bothered me that the process of God-finding might be a slow one. I mean… fast is always better, right?

But last night as I was drifting off to sleep I found myself saying this prayer to myself – and this time I emphasized different words than I’ve ever before emphasized. This time it came out like this:
Father-MOTHER God, LOVINGLY
Thee I seek, –
PATIENT (pause) MEEK,  In the WAY
Thou hast, –
Be it slow or fast,
Up to Thee.

And a whole ‘nother way of looking at that prayer entered my thoughts. I had a small epiphany.

What came to me is that this prayer is about how we live – the manner in which we live and move towards Love. It’s as much about the seeking as it is about the finding.  If God is, literally, Love – as Mary Baker Eddy believed, and as I believe, too – then we’re going to find God by seeking Her in love, with patience and meekness, and without any ego. We’re not going to view this as a competition or a race to see who can get “there” first. The pace of our journey isn’t the important thing. The important thing is that we travel “lovingly” towards our goal.

In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “If Truth is overcoming error in your daily walk and conversation, you can finally say, ‘I have fought a good fight . . . I have kept the faith,’ because you are a better man. This is having our part in the at-one-ment with Truth and Love… If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, he will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy.”

Eddy writes: “Individuals are consistent who, watching and praying, can ‘run, and not be weary; . . . walk, and not faint,’ who gain good rapidly and hold their position, or attain slowly and yield not to discouragement.”

So I’m thinking that whether we’re “slow or fast” the important thing is that we’re moving the right direction, and that we’re seeking Love with love.

“…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
– Matthew 6:33

Love is everything

 

 

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