Conformity? With Christ!
AS you think about your future, you may feel troubled by the thought that there's nothing more to life than what you see as routine, conventional living. Or perhaps you feel the opposite; maybe you're troubled by the unpredictability of your life.
The life of Christ Jesus shows us that there is a spiritual balance that broadens either of these narrow perspectives. The Gospels show Jesus rebelling against all the restrictive, material views of humankind. Yet he did so with the right motives and in the right way. His rebellion against materiality helped and blessed others, and he always remained fully obedient to the moral demands of the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:3-17) and those articulated in his own Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew, chaps. 5-7).
As we think and pray about the direction our lives should be taking, a vital consideration is how we can best conform our ideals to those that enabled Jesus to live a life of healing love. To the degree that we do so, we can live a life that is wonderfully free and profoundly responsible.
In order to grow spiritually into this Christly way of living, we need to improve our understanding of man's real being, which is spiritual. The first chapter of the Bible, in Genesis, reveals the eternal standard to which man truly conforms. It tells us that man is created by God in His own image and likeness: pure and perfect, joyous and loving. In reality everyone, including you and me, is the man of God's creating, true to this original standard of being. From this it follows that humanity isn't divided into two neat categories of ``conventional'' and ``unconventional'' people, so we don't need to decide which one we're going to belong to! The Bible, in Romans, urges: ``Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.'' (12:2).
Every one of us is truly the complete idea of God, expressing all the qualities that reflect Him. These qualities include fidelity, loyalty, and dependability--qualities that we associate with a happy home and a settled career. And man's identity as the true idea of God also includes the qualities of spontaneity and flexibility, which might seem to be more pronounced in less conventional lives. According to the Bible, however, we are--in our true, spiritual identities--the full representation of God. We each reflect every one of His attributes.
Increasingly coming into line with this truth of our individual spiritual completeness by accepting the need--and the divine right- -to express more substantially those qualities that we seem to lack is the key to happiness. Using the names Principle and Love for God, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``For true happiness, man must harmonize with his Principle, divine Love; the Son must be in accord with the Father, in conformity with Christ'' (p. 337). To do this enables us to feel at home everywhere, at home in our own conscious unity with God. It empowers us to enjoy the divine adventure of prayerful discovery of new truths about God and spiritual man that result in healing.
That's what I found when leaving college. I didn't want to trade the exciting time I was having there for what I saw as the routine of settling down in a home and a career. I learned, however, that taking a spiritual perspective shows that in truth there is only the continuity of good. I now enjoy both a happy home and satisfying employment. Yet I have lost no sense of the excitement of life. In fact as I increasingly come into ``conformity with Christ'' and let God govern each day's events, I find greater joy than ever in opportunities for good that arise in unexpected ways. To harmonize with divine Principle is my true career, one which lasts a lifetime!
Whether we yearn for stability or adventure, or rightly desire the spiritual expression of both, ``conformity with Christ'' is the way to go!
I can do all things through Christ.