"Against waiting" is the exact English translation of the German word "Gegenwart" which means in English "present" or "presence" or "the now". So "present" is being "against waiting".
I was traveling recently thousands of miles and this was a great opportunity to stay and be completely in the now. No stress, no pressure, no worry --- in the now all the presence of God is here, a bulwark against waiting, against the emptiness of nothing moving forward or thought anxiously waiting for something to happen.
There is a story by the Roman author Cicero entitled "The Nature of the Gods", in which he relates the story of wise man Simonides who is asked by the tyrant Hiero what or who God was. Simonides asks for a day to ponder. On the next day he asks for an extension of the time. He continues to double the time in which to think it over. Finally he gave this reply: "The longer I consider this, the more obscure it seems to me." Yes, the longer you let time pass on this important subject, you just wait, you have left the glory of the present moment untapped. And you never feel the practical effect of God. That is Cicero's message in his book.
There were several special moments when this became beautifully evident on our trip. All the way through on our way from Los Angeles to Berlin my son and I were aware of good present - or as Vincent put it: The Christ traveling with us. There is only one real consciousness, and this consciousness is God - without time, without limits, without divisions, without viewpoints, without smallness. The most majestic now - the real life not tomorrow, not the other day, but... now.
It was no coincidence that upon our arrival late at night my suitcase came out first so that we could catch one of the last trains home from the airport. Effortless precision within the "Against waiting" of the one divine Mind. It is this special attention to what Spirit is telling us every moment, which the Bible calls "wait upon God". In Psalms we read: "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him." (Psalm 62:5). This listening to God is the exact demonstration of "against waiting", against awaiting the arrival of something, who knows what, and us being under constant pressure to respond. Humanity can fill whole lives with this postponing of good to express itself indefinitely. No, the joy of life is the presence of good, with us, every day. This is Gegenwart - against waiting. We are safe and sound now.
There is a presence walks with us
On every pathless way,
A light outshining midday sun
However dark the day.
We reach our hand—and feel God near;
We cry—and She replies.
We open eyes that sense had dimmed;
We stretch our wings and rise
Above the mist, above the dark,
Above the threats of fear,
Upheld by Love that never fails
And is forever near.
We cannot stray beyond Love's care,
For Love does fill all space;
And where we go the path is marked
By angels of Love's grace.
Salt is such precious stuff. It is not food, but it is essential for food. It purifies, it preserves, it seasons. It is a crystalline mineral, found mainly in seawater as the main mineral ingredient. On our precious earth it is important for survival - being so essential it became not just an important article of trade but also at times the reason for war over it. Salt is used in the kitchen and in religious ceremonies, it is in use in the East and the West - it is everywhere.
Jesus teaches his audience - that is, us - that we are the salt of the earth. The ingredient that everyone needs for survival, the stuff that purifies, preserves and seasons. Anyone who listens to Jesus' teachings of the oneness of God and man is evidently salty. But how does the salt get into the food - and what does that have to do with us? Are we salty enough - noticeable in our expression of good? Is our thought purified and spiritualized enough to make a difference much as salt does in food? Are we really throwing ourselves into the world - not wandering or settling for less, letting a million injustices or sorrows appear on the mental scene without responding with prayer? "Pass the salt" might the world say.
Recently I could see more clearly that Jesus sees our spiritual identity as distinct from our material history. The salt is different - it is not the food itself, and in the same way Spirit is the one power that is really apart from everything else. The salt is pure - and so are we. We are free from a mortal self, free to feel the oneness with our Father-Mother God.
So how are we the salt of the earth? What could spiritual salt be? How are you salty?
Where is the distinct individual voice of moral courage? The tender willingness to walk the second mile? The quiet deed of good that helps to alleviate some negative streak, some sadness? There is something trenchant about "being salt", something unerring and precise. To be salt is not to be sugar. To be salt is to be distinct from a material sense of life, dull, always the same routine, predictable, boring. To be salt means to be individual, aromatic and flavored. You now when there is salt in the soup and when it is missing. Salt is noticed.
As spiritual thinkers we are salty when we use the three distinct qualities of salt in a spiritual way daily: We purify our motives, our hearts and our thinking to let Spirit move our days forward in a distinctly spiritual way. We preserve God-given qualities, such as courage, kindness, watchfulness, and perception. We are ready to season the dull days of materialism without spiritual glow by lifting thought up to the spiritual concept of day where spirituality dawns and freedom is perceived to be the natural habitat of man. We have a salty heritage of Spirit.
In "Miscellaneous Writings" Mary Baker Eddy writes (p. 110): "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!"
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
US +1 617 701-7475