System restore for the new year

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

My computer wasn't functioning properly. Some of the programs were running slowly or not at all. It seemed the more I tried to fix the problem, the more glitches appeared. Instead of getting closer to a solution, I felt further away.

A technician fixed it. He removed a malfunctioning software program and performed a "system restore," returning the computer to a point before the malfunctioning software had interfered with other programs. At that earlier point, the computer had worked fine.

Instead of laboriously debugging program after program, the system restore simply eliminated all actions after a certain point. It was as if the malfunction had never occurred. Actually, in computer time, it never had, because the system was restored to a point before the malfunction.

I suddenly thought I'd like a "system restore" performed on my life. My life felt particularly harried right then. End-of-year deadlines loomed. Demands were increasing. With the computer out of commission, frustration had set in. It seemed the more I tried to do, the less I accomplished. A spiritual version of a system restore sounded like a great idea.

The first step was for me to stop chasing the malfunctioning bits of my to-do list. It was obvious that mere hard work … wasn't working. To feel spiritually restored would mean turning to God for solutions instead of to myself or other people. That didn't mean ignoring problems. It meant having a renewed feeling of inspiration. God, divine intelligence, sees solutions where the human mind sees only problems.

I decided to stop dwelling on the problems. Restoration would make all things new, so I didn't need to belabor the old.

The second step was to acknowledge God as the source and origin of being. God and His good creation would be the system-restore point. I didn't need to travel back in time or imagine some peaceful place in my human life. I needed to acknowledge God as the origin and governor of my life – and of all life. God is the source of goodness and right action and would bring me back to a spiritual view of life.

Being restored isn't positive thinking or human manipulation. It's a divine homecoming.

Love is the restorer. Divine Love can return us to our original state of thought where goodness is supreme and peace is powerful. It's like the millennial state described in the book of Isaiah: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them…. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (11:6, 9).

What dawned was the feeling of peace and order that those Bible verses were conveying. I realized that my system-restore point was a sense that God was in control of the universe; I didn't have to be.

As I let divine Love restore my thoughts, the worries of the world dropped away. Peace washed over me. I looked out the window and for the first time in a while actually saw the crisp blue sky. Mountains sparkled in the sunshine. Traffic danced below in choreographed harmony. I was being restored to Love's original state of calm and confidence, where goodness is natural and success assured. What a relief! I felt calmer and happier than I had in days.

I took a breath and realized God is the central intelligence of everyone's life. I felt assured of God's government. Not surprisingly, the deadlines were met and the problems resolved. More important, I was reminded of how essential it is to "system restore" to the spiritual instead of slogging through the human problems.

Each day can be a New Year's Day. We can feel refreshed, renewed, and restored to a point of faith and spiritual focus. Let this new year be full of the spiritual restoration that comes not through human effort but through divine deliverance.

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