Maintaining good health

THERE'S quite an interest currently in preventive medicine. Regular exercise and improved nutrition are seen as key elements in maintaining good health. But bodily needs can be taken care of without focusing on or examining the flesh.Christian Science, the Science of Christianity, actually turns our thought Godward for the establishment of health. As St. Paul declared, ''We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.''n1

n1 II Corinthians 5:8.

As we look away from matter-the body-to divine Spirit, God, a profound peace is established in thought, which necessarily brings better health. Getting to know Deity as our Parent, we feel the omnipotent presence of God's tender love. We begin to feel safe from harm, rather than vulnerable.

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Knowing God and feeling His comforting presence require spiritual sense. This is our innate ability to discern spiritual realities. We can't perceive the power of divine Love with physical eyes and ears. Spiritual perception requires prayer, in which thought becomes humble and pure enough to acknowledge God's goodness.The more our thoughts and lives are in harmony with divine Love, the less we're afraid of or susceptible to contagion, accidents, or disorder of any kind.

By striving ''to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord,'' I was able last winter to go through months of icy, snowy weather without a single day of colds or flu. There was even a week when I cared for my husband, himself ill with a fever, without any adverse effects.

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, says, ''Mortals obtain the harmony of health, only as they forsake discord, acknowledge the supremacy of divine Mind, and abandon their material beliefs.''n 2

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 400.

For me it took consistent spiritual alertness to ward off the fears, the material beliefs, that might have caused trouble.

First, there was a barrage of television commercials implying that winter colds are inevitable and that the only remedy is medication of some kind. Yet health is natural and God-given; illness is not in accord with the divine plan or sanctioned by Him. By resting thought on God through prayer, we begin to feel the constancy of His protective care and rule out any fear of inevitable illness.

Next to be confronted was the thought of contagion-that being near someone who is sick could have detrimental effects. This was refuted by again holding to the supremacy of God's law of good. Divine Love doesn't penalize us for serving others. We don't need to fear the illness that seems to have ''caught'' another. Rather, we should expect that our faith, purity, strength, and love will bolster our friend in need. Trusting our well-being to the power of Spirit and discerning something of Spirit's supremacy actually nullify negative, materialistic influences.

Third, a simple fear of cold weather had to be faced and rooted out. The warmth and comfort of divine Love don't withdraw in wintertime. The need is to see our precious unity with God. This relationship isn't affected by snow on the ground, by freezing rain or hail. God's tender love embraces man, holding him in health.

What's our best defense against ill health? Loving God. Feeling His care. Casting out fear and false beliefs. As we're more conscious of His omnipotence, we'll prove the power of Love to maintain us in perfect health. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. I Timothy 4:7-9

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