IN our desire to be better friends to ourselves, we sometimes become obsessed with bodily demands telling us, ``Eat better, rest better, live with less stress!'' Clearly, we do need to be attentive to human needs. What is it, though, that we really need to be concerned about regarding our health?
At first it certainly does appear that the body takes precedence, but the Bible presents a radically different view. The message, ``The kingdom of heaven is at hand'' (Matthew 4:17) was the trumpet-call of Christ Jesus' ministry. From that basis, he taught people about the loving nature of God, His allness and His goodness. He demonstrated the reign of God's power by healing sickness and sin, and he taught his followers to heal as well.
We clearly cannot afford to overlook Jesus' message of God's supremacy as we consider the challenges of health in our modern day! Significantly, the explanation he offered for his mighty works gave insight into our relationship to God. God is divine Spirit. As His creation, then, we must be wholly spiritual. This puts quite a different light on the nature of our health. Health and wholeness can never be absent from God's creation!
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, perceived that the healings of apostolic Christianity were not miracles. They were, like the wonders of space travel or modern communication, the practical application of an understandable law, available to anyone who honestly desires to understand it. Christian healing as Jesus taught and practiced it was the result of his understanding the present government of God, divine Love, or divine Principle. To put it another way, his Christianity was nothing less than the application of divine Science--the Science of our relationship to divinity! Jesus was demonstrating that the effect of understanding our relationship to God is health, happiness, and love. Working from this spiritual basis, we can learn to heal as he did.
In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy writes: ``Heaven represents harmony, and divine Science interprets the Principle of heavenly harmony. The great miracle, to human sense, is divine Love, and the grand necessity of existence is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in man'' (p. 560).
Some time ago I came home from work feeling exhausted. I could hardly keep my eyes open, and my stomach was upset. It did not require a great deal of self-awareness to realize that I needed to care for myself. I knew it was time to pray.
My prayer began with the affirmation that the body is not the arbiter of health. Only God can make any conditions for His creation, man, and what He creates is entirely harmonious. Health is present now because it evidences--and is the necessary consequence of--God's government of His own creation.
I could set aside upsetting fears that I was ``coming down with'' an illness that would govern what I could do that night and the next sev-eral days with the humble and steadfast recognition that God, divine Love, governs me and everyone else fully and absolutely, right now, yesterday, tomorrow, and always. I could not be afraid, upset, or ill, because the care of God is real and completely trustworthy. Health, the present and eternal condition of divine Love and Love's creation, is intact. The spiritual facts of health require no time at all to take effect since God is present right now. I was no longer afraid that my body could determine the state of my health. The physical symptoms vanished; I was well. I felt normally rested, and I finished the evening's activities as planned.
It truly is our right, and our necessity, to understand the presence of God's kingdom and how He governs man. Mrs. Eddy urges in Science and Health: ``Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love--the kingdom of heaven--reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear'' (p. 248). This is a promise of health we can depend on!