A Christian Science perspective.
The news about the economy, Afghanistan, Iran, and other parts of the world seems to be saying that all these events are going on outside us and that they are defining the world. So it looks as if we end up just taking what the world is dishing out.
This time of year is a good season to be thinking about this subject because the Christmas message is about the birth of Jesus, who proved that things are the other way around. Each of us has within ourselves the power to help reshape the world in the image of good, and of love. And the Bible tells of how he brought this knowledge of God’s goodness to the world.
Jesus fully embraced, embodied with his whole life, God’s message of divine Love and Truth – what the Bible calls Christ. The Bible also suggests that Christian disciples, then and now, can – and should – pave the way for this goodness. To me, our role is like the messengers Jesus sent ahead of him when he was going to Jerusalem. They were “to make ready for him” (see Luke 9:51, 52).
Today, as then, God is imparting the message of His goodness to man. This message comes to us through our thought, or consciousness. It’s what ultimately directs us, moves us, defines us – and thus our world. Our true identity is not a product of the world, because our identity is spiritual, established by God. And an understanding of this fact has great implications. God imparts to us here, today, the means for victory over our troubles and limitations.
One way of describing these means is found in the words from a psalm: “He uttered his voice, the earth melted” (46:6). The realization of God’s goodness and of our spiritual connection to Him melts the discordant materiality, the worldliness that limits the good that our lives are about and keeps us from feeling divine peace and love.
One example of this is the freedom I gained from headaches I frequently felt around my eyes. Whenever they came on, I would pray for an answer as to why this was occurring, and also for relief from the pain. It became clear to me that the problem was related to stress I felt, because my world was not going the way I wanted it to. I needed a better understanding of exactly how the good that we express determines our lives, and along with that, the significance of bringing more peace and patience to my encounters with the world around me.
Praying to identify myself in more spiritual terms – as having my being defined by the good I am to express with my life and not by circumstances outside my control – had a powerful effect. I found a lot more spiritual peace. The headaches disappeared, and didn’t come back. I’d also like to think that my interactions with others are marked by a lot more patience and the clear thinking that keeps us all moving in a good direction.
This change of course, and the healing involved, is certainly possible to anyone. It’s following in the footsteps of the master teacher, Christ Jesus. The textbook of Christian Science by Mary Baker Eddy goes as far as to say, “It is possible, – yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman, – to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 37).
Any time we can associate with God’s Christ-message of love for us and all humanity, rather than feeling like helpless victims of circumstances created by the world, our consciousness of peace and goodness will help brighten the path for all people.