Let Them Go Outside!

Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.

I couldn't help overhearing a discussion on the subway the other day. A mother was insisting that her children could not go outside to play during the winter because she didn't want them getting colds. The father was patient, but suggested that this was impractical and pointed out that next year in elementary school the youngsters would be going out for recess every day. ''Not my kids!'' she retorted, ''I won't have them getting sick.''

Obviously this mother cares for her children and wants them to be safe and healthy. The unfortunate result of her certainty that the cold weather will be harmful to them, however, is that she suffers from this great fear that her children will be liable to sickness. This fear doesn't make the children any safer! What a change there would be if she were to realize that whether it is hot or cold, dry or wet, God cares for her children! Inside or outside, He keeps them well.

The book of Psalms makes this point: ''The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof'' (24:1). People generally think of the earth as being independent of God. As a result they may also believe that it harbors or creates conditions that are harmful to men, women, and children. But if we take our cue from the Psalmist, we will begin acknowledging the spiritual fact that God is the creator of both heaven and earth. This means that these are spiritual and subject to Him. What does acknowledging this do? Well, as the entire influence of God is good, we have a spiritual basis for realizing that the earth and its environment cannot be harmful to man.

Christian Science takes seriously the Bible's teaching that man has been created in God's own image and likeness. And since man is the likeness, or reflection, of God, he can have no condition or propensity that is unlike his Maker. Man's health and nature are determined and sustained by God, infinite Spirit. A reflection cannot deviate from what it reflects, so man must be spiritual. The perfection, health, and soundness of Spirit are expressed by Spirit's creation, man and the universe. Man exists in direct response to Spirit. Only Spirit causes man to exist. Only Spirit, infinite good, determines his condition and nature.

Reasoning from this standpoint shows us that cold or damp or any other form of weather has no power to make man sick. Man is God's idea; he dwells in the universe of Spirit and is subject to Spirit alone. The recognition of this enables a mother or anyone caring for a child to reject the belief that the weather can harm children. This Christlike understanding gives a parent spiritual authority, and experience proves that this effectively protects children from sickness.

Even so, the human mind tends to be fearful. It often hears constant reports of contagion. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, provides us with knowledge that delivers us from the human mind's wrong perception of things. Referring to God as divine Mind, she writes: ''Every function of the real man is governed by the divine Mind. The human mind has no power to kill or to cure, and it has no control over God's man. The divine Mind that made man maintains His own image and likeness. The human mind is opposed to God and must be put off, as St. Paul declares. All that really exists is the divine Mind and its idea, and in this Mind the entire being is found harmonious and eternal. The straight and narrow way is to see and acknowledge this fact, yield to this power, and follow the leadings of truth'' (p. 151).

Whatever the weather may be, we should put off the human mind's fear and remember and acknowledge divine Mind's, God's, complete control and care of man, His image and likeness.

When it's cold, we do bundle up to stay warm. But all of us have far better protection than a down-filled jacket. The Bible, in First Samuel, records that at a time of danger, Abigail told David, ''The soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God'' (25:29). As you zip up your child's snowsuit, pull on his hat, mittens, and boots, you can rejoice in the spiritual fact that he is really ''bound in the bundle of life'' with God!

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