A Fresh Start
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Perk up your ears. Be expectant, even joyful! All around you something special is happening.
In the past few months, many readers of this newspaper watched spring come. Perhaps it came on so quietly and gently they didn't see it at first. But one day spring had arrived. This annual event hints at a possibility for renewal in our own lives, no matter what the season. To start fresh, to make all things new-including our thoughts, feelings, motives, friendships, activities-is possible. Perhaps this activity is gently beginning in each of us right now.
Let's consider what happens in the spring season. The whole earth wakes up. Life is seen again in nature. There is new growth, even where the weather has sometimes been severe. Well, there is always time in our lives for things to begin anew. How that can happen was explored by the woman who discovered Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. She wrote: "The new birth is not the work of a moment. It begins with moments, and goes on with years; moments of surrender to God, of childlike trust and joyful adoption of good; moments of self-abnegation, self-consecration, heaven-born hope, and spiritual love" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 15). This points out that our new beginning is never confined to a season or a time period. Also, it shows that we each have much to do in the renewal process.
"Joyful adoption of good"-think of it. Adopting what promotes happiness and prosperity, hope included, is an activity of thought. And it contributes to the removal of pain and unhappiness. A friend shared with me this definition of hope: faith on tiptoe. It's through the power of God that we can reach higher, think higher. We can respond to the sunshine of God's love, which is always present. Reflecting on this love, we are lifted to "heaven-born hope," above whatever limits us, be it humdrum routine, loneliness, fear, grief, or sickness. In the process we find ourselves reaching out to others with patience, gratitude, love. That is evidence of our new growth.
Having the right desire is a good beginning; it is really prayer in the bud, which needs cherishing, nurturing, and sincerity in order to flower into practical action and not wither from mere good intentions. Prayer involves gaining new respect for ourselves and our worth as the sons and daughters of God. With this we can press on in the knowledge of who we truly are instead of holding on to the misconceptions of the past.
I had to start life anew after my husband passed on. I found that the Bible provided answers, hope, and direction. There was a need for me to grow in my understanding of spiritual existence-the truth of being. Christ Jesus taught this truth.
In awakening to new joy and hope, I had to leave fear, loneliness, depression, and self-pity behind. This required me to stretch and stand on tiptoe with my faith. One passage in Lamentations promises: "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness" (3:22, 23). And Psalm 42 says, "The Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me" (verse 8). I needed to know that, especially at night.
Morning is a special time to make this promise: "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up" (Psalms 5:3). This looking up through prayer can be a good step in finding and following right desires. With a prayerful approach to the day, we are never crawling out of yesterday's mistakes, but rather starting anew each morning to find in God our joy, strength, love, and security.
Our spring, or new birth, can happen anytime. It need not come all at once, any more than spring does in nature. It can be a continuous, tender, mighty unfoldment. As growth from a tiny seed pushes through the ground, sometimes even through a crack in the blacktop, so our spiritual growth pushes right through crusts of limitation and supposed separation from what is good.
We can start fresh now. We can bloom where we are planted. Nothing can stop us from growing, from feeling and expressing the love of God.