On my weekend run, I passed a neighbor a mile down the road. We exchanged greetings as I jogged by.
"Hi, how 'ya doin'?"
"Great, thanks, how 'bout you?"
"Losin' some weight?" he asked.
To this I responded, "Expressing freedom and endurance!"
"Good idea. Do it while you still got it."
I figured I could get one last line in while he was still within earshot, so I called out: "You've got it, too, my friend. You always will!"
Besides feeling good about maybe having inspired my neighbor to think upbeat thoughts about himself athletically, I was thankful that he had helped me. He had caused me to remember what was true about myself. That I am, just like him, just like you, the perfect child of God - spiritual, immortal, forever vital and active. As God's very likeness, nothing can ever slow us down or enfeeble us.
The number 19 can never get tired or worn out because it has been around so long. It's not a thing, but a concept. Similarly, neither can we, being God's perfect ideas. Good ideas never fade. Good ideas live and remain active forever. (And we're at least as important to God as the number 19!)
Though life may throw lots of stuff at us to suggest otherwise, God really does love us. And She/He intends for us to experience only good. When we look at ourselves from this metaphysical standpoint instead of from a conventional, physical one, we see that we are the very expression of the enduring action, sparkle, and intelligence of the divine Mind that first thought of us.
This one infinite Mind, God, continues to think of us every moment, forever. She/He maintains us perpetually, as the Bible reassures us: "And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you" (Isa. 46:4).
As I ran, I remembered an article I had just read about money and investing. It said that we have two basic kinds of thoughts that come to us: "expensive" thoughts and "good investment" thoughts (see "Christian Science Sentinel," May 8, pg. 10). Expensive thoughts - like fear, hate, resentment, cynicism, self-pity, and envy - don't bring a positive return. They're not from God. Investment thoughts bring a "return of our investment plus a profit." They're Godlike, moral thoughts - compassion, forgiveness, patience, humility, courage, hope, purity. They bring a good return (blessings) - happiness, safety, contentment, opportunity, health, healing. They measure up to our true, spiritual nature.
I realized that what I'd said to my neighbor was an investment thought. Still running, I said to myself: "This investment will bring you sure and wonderful dividends. Not because God will reward you. God isn't variable like that. God isn't a superhuman looking down on you from above, capriciously deciding whether to bless you for doing the right things. God is a Principle. The Principle. The unwavering law of existence itself. And the dividends that result from keeping thought in accord with this spiritual Life-Principle are just as sure and unwavering."
Another quarter of a mile passed, and I continued: "When sodium combines with chlorine, salt is produced. This is not because the chemist is 'rewarded,' but because it's the natural result. It's the only thing that can happen. It's scientific. And the action of the Life that is God is scientific in the highest sense. Good is the natural result when our thinking is in tune with reality, with God, with divine Love. Good results are the only thing that can happen."
As I passed the two-mile point, I remembered something the founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote: "Moral conditions will be found always harmonious and health-giving" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 125). I realized that freedom, endurance, and health are not related to youth. We have them as a natural result of the way we express God.
I finished my run, having gone farther than ever before. But all I felt was energy and peace. I wasn't a bit tired.
So many people are on the go today, running here and there. As we go, we all have the God-given right and capacity to express the qualities of God along the way - and to profit from doing it.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society