A LOT of people are interested in ``living life in the fast lane,'' as if it's the ultimate lifestyle. Close scrutiny of what ``the fast lane'' involves, though, indicates a life centered on self: self-importance and self-indulgence.
Such ``fast lane'' living is in truth a little like driving round and round a ring road that circles a city. It may temporarily appear to allow a more rapid pace of travel than the routes into the city center, but staying on it can never get us to the heart of the city! Similarly, to reach the heart of happiness we have to aim for the spiritual consciousness of being, and we can only do so by leaving behind the mesmerizing whirl of self-preoccupation. This is poignantly indicated by the the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, who writes in her book No and Yes, ``Self-sacrifice is the highway to heaven'' (p. 33).
The heavenly happiness of genuine satisfaction and fulfillment involves the understanding and recognition of man's true relationship to God. To the degree that we're willing to sacrifice the false, material sense of a selfhood apart from God, we discover our true selfhood, a spiritual selfhood that God has created and that expresses His own flawless goodness. The discernment and demonstration of this true selfhood is not an abstract mental exercise. It leads to practical tasks of unselfed good. And the purification, the spiritualization, of our thought results in healing in all areas of our lives, including physical healing.
Prayer and unselfish works may not seem to measure up to preconceived, conventional notions of what constitutes excitement. Yet unselfing thought and action by prayer and Christian living offers infinitely more genuine wonder than any material activity can. In The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, Mrs. Eddy refers to this kind of spiritual adventure. She writes, ``We live in an age of Love's divine adventure to be All-in-all'' (p. 158).
By contrast, ``fast lane'' living is not truly adventurous at all. Such selfishness and self-satisfaction can momentarily feel rewarding--to a state of thought that feels the need to judge its happiness by comparing its own experience to other limited lifestyles. But there is no divine support, and therefore no possible endurance, for such a godless way of living. It leaves one feeling empty and unloved.
Growth in the Science of Christ--the understanding of man's spiritual relationship to God brought to light by Christ Jesus' life of healing--will bring about the relinquishment of such a false sense. Or, if we try to hold on to selfish materialism, we will finally see that the pains of sensual living far outweigh the deceptive falsities of its pleasures. This will lead us to let go of our material ways and find life in Christ, Truth.
The prophet Isaiah explains the alternative to materialism in the Bible. He says, ``And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall the called The way of holiness'' (Isaiah 35:8). To find this highway of holiness--this high way of thinking and living--is what we need to do! No matter how slow we may seem to move along in the direction of spiritual regeneration, to do so constitutes genuine progress. This spiritual unselfing is the truly ``fast lane'' to deep, lasting joy and fulfillment. And it blesses others as well as ourselves with healing.
God's children--that's all of us as we really are!--can't truly be trapped in any rut of wrong thinking and living. The effect of God's law is to urge us all into the way of spiritual progress that compels us to leave the spinning round of self-indulgence, which in reality is taking us nowhere, fast. Then we find abundant goodness and peace in our unity with divine Love.