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Happy birthday!

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

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When you're 5 or 6 years old, "Happy birthday!" might mean a fun time of cake and ice cream, candles, and presents, and being surrounded by other happy kids. But for the baby boomer 60 years later, it might mean forced retirement, the prospect of less income, and all kinds of medical prognoses for declining faculties. So it's not a bad idea to step back and say, "Wait a minute, am I really defined by a number? Does it determine my ability to think, to decide, to travel?"

Of course it can't. And it's right to object to any pigeonholing and stereotyping based on how many times you've circled the sun on planet Earth! Rejecting the claims of age, though, has to be done from a solid basis, not just by wishful thinking.

A vital starting point is to acknowledge our unbreakable and ageless relationship with God. Putting our lives on this spiritual basis makes all the difference. It reminds us that divine Spirit's creation is spiritual, not material. So we're not locked into aging bodies that are inevitably going to decline and decay. We are the ideas of Spirit, designed to express spiritual qualities only, and to experience endless proofs of God's love for us. The Bible's accounts of spiritual visionaries who were so convinced of their closeness to God that their human lives were both lengthened and strengthened offer proof of this point.

One example is Moses, who the Bible tells us heard God speak to him "face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend" (Ex. 33:11). With this consciousness of his intimate relationship with God, Moses led an extraordinary and strenuous life, passing on at an advanced age. The Bible expresses it this way: "Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated" (Deut. 34:7).

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