Some thoughts on aging
A Christian Science perspective: On overcoming age limitations.
Several times a week I play tennis with a woman who by her own admission is 86. On a regular basis she beats the rest of us including those half her age. We joke about it but are inspired by her achievement and have quizzed her on it.
In her youth she played at a national competitive level, and she still does amazing damage with her strategy and impressive placement of the ball. She’s the first to admit that it’s all about a mental and not a physical state. She attributes her ability to play at the level she does to her continuing love of the game and the people she’s with.
I feel the same enthusiasm in my practice of Christian Science. Since it was presented to me 60 years ago I’ve never awakened a single morning without thinking, “Wow! Another day to do it.” By “doing it” I mean using each day as an opportunity to grow in my spiritual understanding of God.
By his words and works Jesus – our perfect example – showed us the way. He proved by his resurrection that God is our Life, and that we are actually God’s spiritual expression, indestructible and eternal. The ultimate proof of this, which Jesus gave to the world, destroys the leading belief about aging, which is that we are material instead of spiritual and that we gradually deteriorate.
The teachings of Christian Science show that God is perfect, all-knowing Mind, whose spiritual idea, man (meaning everyone), is described in the first chapter of the Bible. This perfect idea can no more deteriorate than the eternal Mind, in which it forever resides. As Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of the divine Science behind Jesus’ incomparable healing work, writes: “God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 258).
This understanding removes the limitations we place on ourselves by believing we are material. It accepts that regardless of age our divine Mind, our Father-Mother God, is constantly providing us with every thought and capability we need to continue to live useful and healthy lives.
Genesis 1:26 assures us that God gave everyone the ability to exercise dominion over everything on earth, which includes the material beliefs of aging that would impose limitations on our strength and continuing usefulness. No matter what circumstance of need is presented to us we don’t have to feel overwhelmed. We can turn in prayer to God to better understand that we are at one with the divine Mind that knows and maintains us.
Sometimes senior citizens get quite chagrined over not being able to do what they used to be able to do. “I’ve always been so active,” they say. I’d like to think that with each passing day I am learning, through study of the Bible and the Science underlying Christ Jesus’ teachings, something more about real Life – about God. The pursuit of it seems like an extremely active thing to me. And interestingly the more I devote myself to learning about God and what He knows, the more I feel there is to learn and experience of God’s renewing power. The fact is that we are each in this loving-and-learning God commitment forever.