A woman once wrote to an advice columnist that her life was in a rut. She lived alone, she said, in one room with two windows. One looked out on a grimy street; the other was blocked by a large cabinet. She worked long hours in a factory and had no firends. What was the point in living?
I could hardly wait to read the forthcoming words of sympathy from the advice columnist. But her response jolted me: Why couldn't the woman move the cabinet so as to block the other window instead, the one that looked out on the grimy street? This would give her a fresh view. She would be amazed how stimultating her life could become if she was willing to make some changes.
By the time I had reached the end of the column my pity over the woman's plight had vanished. Another happy ending, I told myself.
Helpful as that advice was, however, I've learned that a genuine, lasting solution to our troubles must go beyond altering some outward aspect of our experience. People often switch jobs, schools, homes, spouses, in the hope that a major change in their lives will bring about the success or contentment they feel is lacking -- only to be disappointed again.
Of course, anything that helps break us out of a rut of mediocrity, such as a new career or a new location, will certainly add interest to our days and perhaps inspire us to greater things. But a change of view in this sense only touches superficially the beliefs, opinions, or character traits that may produce discontent again, once the novelty of newness subsides.
From thee standpoint of Christian Science, the only genuine change involves a purification, a spiritualization, of thought. It requires us to give up a strictly mortal and material concept of life for a spiritual understanding of it.
"As mortals gain more correct views of God and man," writes Mary Baker Eddy, n1 "multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible. when we realize that Life is Spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness." n2
n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 264.
A spiritual outlook on life, then, is based on an understanding of God as Spirit and of the perfection of His spiritual creation, including man created in His own image. This doesn't promote a "head in thhe clouds" attitude toward life but shows us what life really is. And the practical benefits of such a view are manifested in better health, more satisfying pursuits, and so forth.
God's universe if filled with spiritual ideas and qualities that reflect His perfection. To the degree that these become tangible to us through our growing understanding of God, we will no longer look to any form of materiality to bring us peace an satisfaction. We will feel these spiritual qualities to be an actual part of our nature. Living then will become more purposeful, ordered, fruitful.
Christ Jesus showed through his life example that spiritual-mindedness not only heals physical difficulties and overcomes lack and limitation, but enables us to find the kingdom of heaven within us. He said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with ovservation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold , the kingdom of God is within your." n3
n3 Luke 17:20, 21.
Dwellng in Spirit, we feel the ever-present Christ regenerating us, restoring our spiritual sense of all things. This clearer, higher, more spiritual view of life keeps us from falling into the ruts of materiality and keeps us on the upward path. DAILY BIBLE VERSE To be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6