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God's New Year

Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.

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TODAY is practically the last day of the year. At midnight on Sunday, it will be 1996. Toward the end of the year, I have sometimes found myself wanting to do one of two things-maybe you've felt this way, too.

Either I will look back over the past months, or I will look ahead into the new year. I've been learning that there's a right way and a wrong way to think along these lines. What has come clearer to me, as a Christian Scientist, is that I've got to remember, when I look over my shoulder, that God was there. And that when I look out on the horizon, so to speak, God will be there also.

This is all because of the basic fact that God is always here, which of course means now. Last year and next year are really made up of a bunch of "nows," all strung together in a line. God made you and me. And God is never separated from what He created for a single moment. He is omnipotent and He is good. The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, said quite simply, "God, Spirit, alone created all, and called it good." This is from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the textbook of Christian Science (p. 339). Thinking about it this way, I can't get around the fact that every moment was, is, and will be God's. Can you?

The implications of this are very freeing. If looking back over the year (or the years) brings memories that are unpleasant or full of anguish or even just a little less than perfect, then praying to God can help. Something from the Bible that St. Paul said to the people of Philippi gets at this: "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13, 14). At least part of what Paul was saying, I think, was that from any perspective there's no point in ruminating on, or carrying over, painful thoughts of the past. He was really discussing a mental activity that is a prayer. And Christian Science has taught me there's a spiritual law behind prayer, to legitimize it with actual healing. Anything evil-any problem in the world-can be healed through prayer, no matter how long it has been around or how severe it has become.

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