No need to suffer from physical labor

Posted on Aug 7, 2017 | 14 Comments
No need to suffer from physical labor

Kathy and I were scheduled to help our daughter and her husband build a retaining wall in their back yard. The wall would be around 40’ long and 32” tall and require over 200 pavers that weighed 68 pounds each. A lot of heavy lifting!

On the first day of the project, my job was to lay the foundation layer of bricks in the ground. The foundation had to be perfectly level, so I’d put a brick in the ditch, check its level, lift it out, smooth the gravel below it, put the brick back in, check the level, lift it out, smooth the ground a bit more, then place the brick in again, and hopefully have it correct! It was a lot of heavy lifting from below my feet. After a few hours of this, the suggestion entered thought, “You are not used to this kind of heavy physical labor. You might start to feel aches and pains later today or tomorrow from so much heavy lifting!”

I did not ignore the suggestion. I instantly saw it as a red flag that I needed to pray and see why I could only end this project blessed, in perfect health and without a single ache or pain for the effort.

I thought about Mary Baker Eddy’s comment in Science and Health,

“You say, “Toil fatigues me.” But what is this me? Is it muscle or mind? Which is tired and so speaks? Without mind, could the muscles be tired? Do the muscles talk, or do you talk for them? Matter is non-intelligent. Mortal mind does the false talking, and that which affirms weariness, made that weariness” Science and Health, p. 217.

I decided that if I kept all types of mental aches and pains out of my thinking, I would keep them out of my body. And by mental aches and pains, I’m talking about any belief that I should suffer or could suffer. Also, any types of mental strain like feeling overworked, stressed or tense. I based my prayer on the absolute truth that I was a spiritual being that was wholly harmonious and capable of only feeling peaceful and free without exception.

As I worked and prayed, if I ever started to tense up and detect distress in mind or body, I’d stop, stand up, and remember that I was wholly spiritual, that I was doing unselfish work and expressing love toward my family and I could only feel peace and harmony as a result. Each time I did this, the tension would go away from my thinking, my body would relax, feel fine, and I proceed some more.

We finished that wall in 3 days, and were delighted with how beautiful and perfect it turned out. And I was also happy to recognize that there was not one single evidence of ache or pain in my entire body. And I didn’t hear any complaining coming from anyone else either. We all had a grand time together working on a labor of love.

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14 Comments

  1. Linda, Cheshire, UK
    August 7, 2017

    I’m really grateful for this Evan. It was so helpful to read about the way you worked on this. I have used that passage from Science and Health many times when there has been a temptation to suffer from gardening or housework etc and the thoughts that you have shared with us are really helpful. One of the marginal headings in S and H also says ‘honest toil has no penalty’ and last week’s Lesson-Sermon also brought this out very clearly. It’s also easy to let thoughts of age sneak in such as “I didn’t used to feel stiff after gardening a few years ago” or “I wish I was as active as I used to be”. You have shown us how to keep our thoughts on the right track and I am very grateful.

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  2. Nergish
    August 7, 2017

    Thanks Evan. That’s such a lovely, sweet and selfless labor of love.. How could any harm come to you? The spiritual law as you mention, always supports and protects deeds of kindness. Am so touched by your lovely demonstration. Mrs. Eddy also mentions that we can only grow stronger if we serve selflessly..because it’s God who strengthens us and enables us to give service to our loved ones and to whoever is in need.

    Some other lovely citations come to thought which are so apt here. These are from “Science and Health” by Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy. Just last week we studied all these in the lesson “SPIRIT”

    “God never punishes man for doing right, for honest labor, or for deeds of kindness, though they expose him to fatigue, cold, heat, contagion. If man seems to incur the penalty through matter, this is but a belief of mortal mind, not an enactment of wisdom, and man has only to enter his protest against this belief in order to annul it.”

    “It is proverbial that Florence Nightingale and other philanthropists engaged in humane labors have been able to undergo without sinking fatigues and exposures which ordinary people could not endure. The explanation lies in the support which they derived from the divine law, rising above the human. The spiritual demand, quelling the material, supplies energy and endurance surpassing all other aids, and forestalls the penalty which our beliefs would attach to our best deeds.”

    “Constant toil, deprivations, exposures, and all untoward conditions, if without sin, can be experienced without suffering. Whatever it is your duty to do, you can do without harm to yourself.”
    “Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action.”

    Thanks to Evan who always lives the Truths he learns and so sweetly shares with all of us. Deep gratitude to Mrs. Eddy for her lovely book “Science and Health” which is filled with pearls of truth, which when sincerely applied to any situation, brings healing.

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  3. Bill Gearhart
    August 7, 2017

    A job well done and your spiritual guidance has given me the right way and the spiritual uplifting that will give me much confidence in future projects. Thanks!

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  4. Diane
    August 7, 2017

    Like Nehemiah, you didn’t allow anything to distract you from building your strong foundation!

    Sure foundations cannot be interrupted or broken down by the marauding enemies of fear and a belief in anything stronger than God, that would try to defeat us from building and maintaining the wall of strong thoughts that protects our happiness and progress!

    Great story Evan!

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  5. grace
    August 7, 2017

    Oh yay, Evan! That is beautiful. Yes, Nehemiah’s wall building shows us valuable lesson (and so does Evan’s). Diane’s comments bring out that it’s not persons that disrupt our building and progress, but intruding thoughts unlike God that suggest fatigue, defeat, encouraging us to give in to mortal beliefs. No way! .” This blog inspires me every day, thanks Evan and writers. Blessings all!

    Reply
  6. Kirsten
    August 7, 2017

    Thank you all. This is just what I needed.

    Reply
  7. Josef
    August 7, 2017

    Nicely done. Great place for a garden.

    Reply
  8. Patty
    August 7, 2017

    Ah, “time and deterioration”! What a totally useless belief we have swallowed and how soothing this reminder. For me it has been the prayer topic of renewed interest as I contemplate how my “body” extends beyond head, hands and feet to include all I meet or interact with including my car – that it too originated as and is sustained by an indestructible spiritual all-powerful “good” idea. That every thought producing an expectation of evil – such as “brakes always wear out” or “bodies must rust over time”, “or “headlight bulbs eventually burn out” can and does by law, but the Christ power in me reminds me this is just a perceived absence of Intelligence and Love – which of course is impossible in omnipresent Good. And so the light shines and darkness dissolves back into the nothingness. No(real)thing has changed and I know it!

    Thank you!

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  9. Janet
    August 7, 2017

    I recall once, while gardening, feeling strain in my back and knees. Remembering our Leader’s words about penalty, (S&H 384:9 – 12) “…man has only to enter his protest against this belief in order to annul it” I sat back on my heels and protested vigorously that as a spiritual idea I could not be penalised for such work – and the discomfort was no more.

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  10. Brian
    August 7, 2017

    Thank you Evan! I had a very very similar experience about a week ago.

    I started a tradition with my wife a a few years ago of giving her a “day of servitude” on her birthday. By that I mean that she could ask me to do any “honey do” project on that day and I would do it…for the whole day. This year we had a snap of cool weather in the summer and in an effort to make her bday extra special, I decided to give her two days of servitude.

    She plans this out weeks in advance, so she had me shoveling mulch into a wheel barrel and taking it to various garden spots in the yard so she could spread it, building 10′ x 5′ outdoor shelves on which to store her pots, digging and then tilling a spot she could plant gourds, etc., etc. At one point towards the end of the first day I jokingly pretended to be faint and exclaimed deliriously “I’m coming to see ya Jesus!” just so she’d appreciate how hard I was working. 🙂 But she was working hard too.

    That night I woke up around 3 a.m. very sore with aches and pains. But instead of giving in to those suggestions and suffering the consequences, I immediately realized that I am a compound spiritual idea made up of many right ideas. None of those ideas can get sore or ache. Just imaging how often 2 x 2 = 4 is “exercised” in a single day and it never gets sore! I realized that since I’m not made of matter, I can’t have “material senses” and therefore the aches and pains I seemed to be experiencing via those senses were actually just “suggestions” of aches and pains and I could deny those suggestions by replacing each one with the truth. So that’s what I did. The whole process took only about 5 minutes. It just came so clear to me what a fraud those suggestions were. And the aches and pains were no more.

    The next morning my wife seemed to be experiencing similar aches and pains and told me we didn’t need to continue with the work we were doing. But I said “No, I’m fine. Let’s take advantage of the nice weather and finish what we started!” Now here’s the best part…Like Evan mentioned in his blog about how his knowing the truth kept everyone working with him from experiencing any negative consequences of the hard work…my confidence in the truth at that moment with my wife erased any issues she was experiencing and we both cheerfully spent another day hard at work in the garden with no negative consequences. This was an eye opener to me that when we know the truth ourselves, that can benefit others even when we don’t share the truth audibly with them (my wife’s not a Christian Scientist, so I didn’t voice the truth to her audibly…I just knew the truth myself and she “heard” that inaudibly and benefited from it).

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  11. Lori Marquart
    August 7, 2017

    Thanks so much, Evan, and all who have commented – such great ideas! The article “Wellspring of life” by Elizabeth Bice Luerssen on the back of the Bible Lens for this week’s lesson has these two statements:
    “We’re actually living a life of unfoldment – of newness, freshness, and spiritual progress, rather than a life of retirement, deterioration, or stalemate.” And, “We can, in a measure at least, cleanse ourselves of inactivity, stagnation, death – all the lies of mortality – until they are forever washed away by refreshing, vitalizing Life, the wellspring of life.”

    Reply
  12. Theodora
    August 7, 2017

    Thank you, Evan. Always such wonderful wisdom to share.
    A few years ago my daughter was visiting me and it snowed and snowed. and got very deep. So, we went out to shovel the walks and driveway. There are walls on each side of the driveway, so the snow had to be thrown up and over the walls. Soon we couldn’t throw it up high enough to get over the accumulated snow and had to start wheel barrowing it away. It took us many hours. I had prayed my way through the whole endeavor-knowing that God is my strength and power and protects from all harm, etc. etc. The next day my daughter complained about being sore, but I was entirely free from any stiffness or soreness. So, I guess my prayer should have included her. She is a very strong, active, healthy Alaska woman and it had not occurred to me that I needed to include her in the prayer. But now I know better.

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  13. Mary
    August 7, 2017

    TY for all the wonderful truths you share with us 5 days a week. It is a great blessing, eagerly looked forward to and much valued. I was glad to be reminded by 1 of the comments to not accept and beliefs of age.

    Reply
  14. Uta, Hamburg/Germany
    August 7, 2017

    Dear Evan,
    thank you deeply for your gorgeous testimony.

    Patty is right, there is no age neither for us nor for our car – very helpful also for me, thank you 🙂

    Evan, thank you so very much for your so clear metaphysical explanations, how you worked that out, that no pain nor other error will follow this great deed – although heavy work – of Love for your dear family.

    And thank you all dear commenters for your loving and helpful comments 🙂

    Am very grateful for SpiritView! 🙂

    Reply

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