Guaranteed for Life
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
I recently moved to the United States from Europe. A minor difference I've noticed between these places is in the duration of warranties. Back home, a shopper is usually offered a year's full guarantee on parts and labor when purchasing electrical goods. Here it generally seems to be about three months.
I can assure you that a longer guarantee period makes for a more secure feeling about what you own.
The Bible offers everyone who comes to understand it an infinitely more secure "warranty" on something much more significant - life itself! It looks like life is mortal and comes with no guarantees at all; just an expectancy that some lucky ones will get a 70-, 80-, or 90-year life span. The Scriptures, however, teach that everyone's real life comes with a full guarantee of enduring forever: "The gift of God is eternal life" (Rom. 6:23).
Doesn't that sound like a better deal than the terminal view of existence? You could say that Jesus Christ "walked the walk" of those words. After his crucifixion at the hands of religious and political conspirators, he rose from the grave through the power of God. Christian Science further explains that Jesus was able to do this because he understood the spiritual truth of God as the sole, indestructible Life of each of us. Step by step, this unconfined, spiritual sense of Life lifted him to ascension, or the final release from all limiting, material conditions.
What the example of Jesus does for us all is show us that despite a seemingly finite, limited, human existence, our life is truly eternal, unlimited, and spiritual, an existence full of well-being. Not that human life is or can become eternal. But there are signs in human existence that point to spiritual individuality, to our identity as God's image, or expression. For instance, when someone sacrifices personal comfort and self-interest to serve a greater cause. Or when people overcome addiction or illness through prayer and diligent effort to live right. These examples point to our perfect identity, derived from the divine Principle, God. This real, eternal self never varies. The more we know it as our only true self, the more we see that we're assured of ever-flowing good from God.
This guarantee is not the promise of a future heaven. It involves the coming to light of a forever heaven. It is the present truth of everyone's immortal nature as a child of God. We find proof of it right now, to the degree that we mentally claim it! Speaking of God as divine Life, Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper, wrote: "Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 246).
As I have started "shaping my views of existence" in this way, I have found it has made a tremendous practical difference. My prayer to understand God as immortal Life, and to express more of His goodness to others, has brought me physical healing. Financial solvency. Happier relationships. A deeper sense of purpose. I now feel convinced that we experience the eternal life Jesus promised through progressively obeying the moral and spiritual demands God makes on us. We do this naturally, through an ever-expanding awareness that God's goodness has no limits.
Before I knew how to discern and demonstrate this spiritual goodness, I wondered if I would want the life I was experiencing then to stretch into eternity, even if that were possible. If this is the way you're feeling, there is hope. Bad lives, like bad dreams, are not destined to go on forever! The good in your individual experience, even if it seems small, is what gives evidence of a spiritual, eternal nature. This is what will go on forever. Your true identity exists as God's reflection, and this is blissful, harmonious, wonderful. No, this isn't the way it feels a lot of the time. But prayer can awaken you to this true, spiritual status of a life you would want, and indeed do have, eternally.
All that is good, happy, wholesome, healthy, in human experience is evidence of real, immortal existence. This goes on for ever and ever, absolutely and irrevocably guaranteed by our Maker, God.