When a new family moved into the apartment across the hall, the young mother was pleased to see there were two preschool children, ideal playmates for her own pair of little ones. Within a day or so, however, she began to have misgivings. She had watched in dismay as the new neighbor allowed her youngsters to romp about in the frigid outdoors in thin sweaters.
''Don't you ever worry,'' she finally asked her neighbor, ''about your children getting sick?''
''Why, no,'' was the reply. ''Cold weather isn't harmful - it kills germs. Now, hot weather is different. All sorts of germs breed in hot weather!''
How ridiculous, the young mother thought. How could anyone think that summertime, with its glorious sunshine and fresh air, could be harmful? But she was grateful for the neighbor's remark because it provided fresh insight into her own problem. As a new student of Christian Science she had been struggling to overcome her conviction that wintertime weather was the cause of wintertime illnesses. After all, she reasoned, so many people believed cold weather was harmful that it was pretty difficult to reject such theories as invalid. And the constant talk among young mothers about children's ailments, as well as TV advertisements about medical treatment, hadn't helped her to break through the bondage of fear.
But now she saw, more clearly than ever before, what Mary Baker Eddy n1 meant by her statement: ''A mortal belief fulfils its own conditions. Sickness, sin, and death are the vague realities of human conclusions.'' n2
n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 297-298.
We're educated into accepting many human conclusions that perpetuate fear and cause us, in some instances, needless suffering. Fear is really a kind of ignorance - ignorance of the infinite goodness of God and of His nature as all-embracing Love. When ignorance is replaced with enlightenment, with an understanding of God, fear recedes and dissolves.
For instance, as we come to understand God's loving care of man and the true nature of His universe, we see that He could not permit anything to exist that would harm His children. We realize, then, that temperature, climate, germs, and such things have no real power to harm us. If we ignorantly assume that they do, we are believing in other gods, other powers, and this dishonors the one God, the Mind that is Love.
This doesn't mean, of course, that we should simply ignore the weather and dress unwisely. We can, however, step by step, break through the bondage of fear by challenging even the slightest suggestion of an evil cause. As we do, we'll progressively gain dominion in every facet of our lives. We will awake to learn that our real identity is spiritual, made in God's image, as the Bible tells us; that we are not truly material organisms trapped in a time slot between birth and death.
A mortal walking about in a fleshly body is a false, limited concept of the man God made, the man we really are. Since God is Spirit, as Christ Jesus taught , His man must be spiritual, a divine idea, forever free from sickness and suffering. This man is untouched by material climate because he abides in the pure atmosphere of Spirit, of divine Love. These truths may seem abstract, even absurd, to a strictly physical view of life. But to a higher, spiritual sense they're tangible and practical.
Jesus' command ''Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect'' n3 clearly points to the spiritual truth of man, which we can all prove by degrees. How encouraging it is to know that, following the Master's example, we will ultimately overcome every fearful belief in a power apart from God! We will prove that, in divine reality, we are as perfect as our Father in heaven.
n3 Matthew 5:48.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, Whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15