THE latest model sports car, a beautiful house in the suburbs, designer clothing -- such things spell success for many people. But when the euphoria from having a new material acquisition has worn off, is it any wonder that people often feel empty about their lives? Materialistic priorities bring a multitude of personal problems. Spiritual priorities are the answer -- the cultivation of a spiritual sense of life that puts God first and so finds genuine, lasting satisfaction. Turning to the allness of God, coming to discern our unity with Him, and putting off the materialistic thinking that opposes His nature promote genuine peace and stability.
Biblical prophets and apostles, who saw what spiritual sense could do for them and others, climbed mentally and sometimes literally to a mountaintop, above the limited, material concerns of their day, and listened solely to God, to the one Mind. The Bible tells us that ``the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.''1 After this experience Moses came down from the mountain at God's command and gave the people the Ten Commandments.
The prayerful periods that Christ Jesus had, fortified him to teach the marvelous truths he understood and to heal sickness and sin. Echoing the Old Testament teaching, he said: ``The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.''2
With obedience to these commands as our priority, we, too, can mentally retreat from materiality right in the middle of a business break or a crowded classroom or a traffic jam and consider the things that ultimately mean more than anything.We can feel something of God's presence and see more of our own and everyone's true selfhood as the emanation of God, as His spiritual likeness. Such turning to God is more than seeking peace for a moment to help us cope or escape. It involves a deep desire to know Christ, Truth, better and to live in harmony with God. And this inevitably brings health and peace.