Dealing With Life's Changes
Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.
Sometimes nothing seems so constant as change. Whether it's as severe as a revolution that overthrows a country's government or a hurricane that destroys your home, or as minor as a change in fashion that makes part of your wardrobe out of date, things in life are always changing.
Some changes can be pretty disturbing, and often they are beyond your power to control them. What can you do then? Whether or not you can prevent changes from taking place, you can control how you think about them; and how you think has a lot to do with what you experience.
It's easy to focus on the inconveniences and hardships brought by changes. But I've found that it makes sense to think about changes in a different way. I study Christian Science, which was discovered in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy. She found, in the teachings of Christ Jesus, reliable rules by which to understand God. I've learned that if we understand that God is Spirit and that His love surrounds all of us, we will be safe. We will not be disturbed during times of change if we know that we are always under God's sustaining power.
Mrs. Eddy's book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures says, "Having faith in the divine Principle of health and spiritually understanding God, sustains man under all circumstances . . ." (p. 319). To understand this sustaining power fully, though, it's necessary to know that God's creation is wholly spiritual, like Him. So long as we think of creation in physical terms, we risk being disappointed. The spiritual understanding of God grows only to the extent that we make knowing Him our top priority. Understanding God flows naturally from each effort to love Him and to live in accord with His commandments.
As a person learns that he or she is truly God's child, made in His image, it becomes easier to trust God to guide events. Changes become opportunities, and only those things that should be changed are changed.
I speak from experience. My wife and I once went through a period of many changes. I left a high-paying job, and for five years we had a very limited income. We couldn't go out to eat or do many of the things we had grown accustomed to doing. As an added complication, we lost a large sum of money on a house sale, and later almost lost our home in the town to which we'd moved because we couldn't make the payments.
Yet through it all we learned to focus our thoughts on the facts of God and on His great love, instead of on the many difficult changes forced on us.
We prayed. And we became convinced that God not only would be taking care of us, but actually was taking care of us right then. We learned in our study of Christian Science the importance of following this command of Christ Jesus: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). We became so sure of the truth of this command that, in the middle of that time of lack, we offered to spend two days a month calling on patients on behalf of our church, at a state mental hospital more that 120 miles from our home. This took much-needed time away from our business. But during almost two years in which we were engaged in that activity, the business grew and our income increased. We feel this unselfish giving of our time was a contributing factor in helping to end our poverty.
As a result of the lessons we were forced to learn during that time, in which we grew to know God better, our prosperity increased and has continued. Learning of our spiritual relation to God as His loved children is what made the difference. In a very real sense, our thinking determined our experience.
God's love is universal. Not one of us is left out of His caring or lacks His compassionate help. So you and I can put our trust in Him. We can get a real understanding of our unbreakable, spiritual link with God. Then we will see His power making both profound and minor changes. We will see that changes are opportunities for knowing Him better.
*You can find in-depth articles on Christian Science in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.