DOES the passage of years affect our well-being? Does it really determine our status? When we view identity from a spiritual basis, we see that it doesn't, not in the ultimate and truest sense. Since God is our creator, we're not being unrealistic to assert that we are actually spiritual beings born of Spirit, and that as such we can neither age in matter nor die in matter. God is eternal and knows no time; therefore man as God's image can't be cognizant of time either. Nor can man experience declining physical and mental capacities because of the passing of time. These statements may seem abstract and impractical. And yet they're extremely practical, because in the degree that we understand them as absolute truth and bring our lives into accord with the divine will, we can gain dominion over the limitations associated with aging. It seems ironical that when people are young they want their birthdays to come quickly, and when they are older they want them to slow down. People often look ahead for future happiness or backward for memories of happy times. Yet shouldn't one period of life contain just as much happiness as another? It should, because the source of true happiness is God, and God is always with us. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, says, ``Time-tables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood.'' 1 We can stop these conspiracies by rejecting the false, generally held concept that deterioration is inevitable. It may seem to be, but we can increasingly prove that it isn't. If we refute its supposed reality in prayer, knowing there is no divine law to support it, we will not be programmed to encounter impairments as time goes on. Do we feel somewhat apprehensive about the future and wonder how many years we have left to live? Heredity would give us one answer to the question of our future prospects and some other theory another answer. Whatever the theory, it can be challenged on the basis of man's eternal, spiritual existence as God's image. Mrs. Eddy writes, ``Except for the error of measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful, man would enjoy more than threescore years and ten and still maintain his vigor, freshness , and promise.'' 2 When our interests revolve entirely around ourselves, we often withdraw into a shell and are not concerned about others. We could, instead, become more unselfish. I observed this in an elderly aunt of mine who sometimes seemed confused in handling her affairs. When she took an active interest in someone else's affairs, her own thinking became clearer, and she was more vibrant and alive with purpose. Each of us, in truth, reflects the divine Mind alone. There is no other genuine source of thought, no other government of man. Even if we have always accepted decline as inevitable, today we can make a fresh start. Through turning wholeheartedly to God, we can begin to experience a spiritual renewal. Many people have carried resentments and jealousies from childhood. But they now have an opportunity to be healed of them, even if decades have gone by. Paul assures us, ``Behold, now is the accepted tim e; behold, now is the day of salvation.'' 3 We hear it said more and more today that thought influences the body. Even in the medical field it is generally believed that there is a relationship between one's thought and the degenerative ailments attributed to advancing years. But we need to go a step beyond that and reason from a spiritual standpoint. Because God is the only lawgiver, the only genuine creator and power, all cause and effect exist in Him. Therefore, only what expresses God, good, is legitimate. It is important to realize that th ere is no actual law to decree that we will be limited in any way during our latter days. Through a perception of the truth of God and man, and a willingness to live in harmony with it, we can gain an increasing measure of dominion over our experience, and a whole new view of things can open up for us. Christ Jesus stressed that God cares about each of us as individuals, for he said, ``The very hairs of your head are all numbered.'' 4 Each of us, therefore, is important in God's sight, regardless of age. Categories of age have no place in the divine order, where one's true selfhood is ageless. 1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 246. 2 Ibid. 3 II Corinthians 6:2. 4 Matthew 10:30.