Two hundred years ago this summer, William Clark carved his name into a rock formation along the Yellowstone River. That spot, known as Pompey's Pillar, is one of the few marked places along the Lewis and Clark Trail where you can be certain that one of these explorers actually stood. This summer there was a celebration to mark the bicentennial anniversary of this event, along with several festivals and exhibitions commemorating the explorers' expedition.
As I stood at Pompey's Pillar early last spring, contemplating Clark's signature and the names of the others in his party, I thought about the possibility of exploration.
My life seemed rather dull compared to Clark's. What is left for the modern-day adventurer when others have already reached nearly every place on earth?
Considering it more deeply, I realized that the purpose of exploration isn't simply to get there first. It's to learn something new, to break fresh ground, to return home with something worth sharing.
One way I've found to do that in the mental realm is by delving more deeply into a life of Christian healing.
Healing. Now that's an exciting idea to explore. To clean and polish the rusty areas of one's own life, to help ourselves and others find resolution to health challenges, relationship issues, financial troubles. That's what Jesus and his followers did. While they traveled, they changed lives – their own and those they touched.
But where to start?
A wise traveler begins with a guidebook for his expedition. He or she gathers information before setting off and keeps checking in with this source while he travels.
The best guide I've found for my spiritual journey is the Christian Science Weekly Bible Lesson. Each week it offers different stories and verses of Scripture along with corresponding passages from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. Together, the two are a powerful learning tool for spiritual healing.
God is at our side on our journey to discover more about spiritual truth and its healing power. We do not make this trip alone. The place where we can find answers is Love, God. Seeking to be closer to God, to get to know our divine heritage better, is not uncertain at all. In fact, it's the safest, surest thing we can do. That's because God is the only power in our lives and the only source of opportunity and satisfaction.
There's a hymn that says:
I climb, with joy, the heights of Mind,
To soar o'er time and space;
I yet shall know as I am known
And see Thee face to face.
(Violet Hay, "Christian Science Hymnal," No 136).
This tells me that God is knowable, and right here with us.
As we chart new mental territory, our lives move forward in healthy directions. We learn more about who we are as children of God. As Mary Baker Eddy, a true explorer who discovered Christian Science, put it, "In this Science, we discover man in the image and likeness of God" (Science and Health, p. 548).
We can do this today, whether we are traveling the land or not, whether we are on what is traditionally thought of as an adventure or not.
The possibilities for expansion of thought and activity are infinite as we reach for a higher spiritual understanding of our purpose in life. We can know for ourselves the thrill of exploration, and feel William Clark's words on seeing the Pacific Ocean: "Oh! The joy!"
Ye shall seek me,
and find me,
when ye shall search for me with all your heart.