Dominion over change
A Christian Science perspective.
Our lives seem full of transitions. Whether changing jobs, moving to a new home, attending a new school, beginning retirement, or leaving single for married life, most of us are facing some sort of changed circumstance. Even churches are facing new ways of presenting themselves. Change is sometimes feared as disruptive and discomforting, but it doesn’t have to be so.
One time when I was considering an approaching change, I took a great lesson from the sea. I was looking out at a barrier reef as waves from a storm intensified. I reasoned that the beautiful creatures normally inhabiting the reef relatively close to the surface do not stubbornly cling to it during such times; they swim down deeper where the water is less turbulent. Occasions that bring outward changes to our lives can be opportunities to secure in thought what is changeless and constant, deepening our understanding of what is actual.
“I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6) is a good starting point from which to pray when we feel unsettled about a transition of any kind. As God’s offspring, His children are permanently spiritual by reflection. What is true of God, is true of His creation. That means, because we are the outcome of God, we are permanently happy, satisfied, loved, peaceful, joyous. We can take a cue from the Master. Christ Jesus was perpetually aware of the relation he had with God. He consistently consulted God in prayer, and saw others as cared for and supplied with good by God. Holding that spiritual view is how his ministry lifted so many out of sickness, and sin, and death as well. He saw each individual as an unchanged manifestation of his Father’s creation, always cherished and perfect, and sickness, sin, and death as false impositions, removable by God’s healing presence. Not one lived under a true threat, but each retained his original Godlikeness.
Even in the most demanding and dramatic moments of his career, Christ Jesus was spiritually poised. He was able to withhold verbal defense of himself when on trial, and able to selflessly pray for the forgiveness of those who crucified him. This is surely proof of this statement made in Hebrews: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever” (13:8).
As we dive deeper and look at the changeless reality of good that is our actual being, we discover that we include the ideas of joyous discovery, expectation of good, flexibility, and ease. Mary Baker Eddy, in answering the question, “What is man?” declares that man – that is, every one of God’s ideas – includes all right ideas, and continues to say that this spiritual image and likeness “has not a single quality underived from Deity” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 475).
Since God is purely good, everything in His plan for us is good. More than once I have had to trust this spiritual fact.
Years ago, I faced a big move, just when I was settling into my chosen work as a Christian Science practitioner. In fact, I’d been practicing about a year when my husband called and asked me how I’d feel about a move to Australia! We’d already moved many times as a couple and young family, and I had always been very willing to do so, but this time I was reluctant. I found I had to let go of what was familiar, and of what I had outlined, and trust God more. I leaned on one simple law: “... whatever blesses one blesses all ...” (Science and Health, p. 206). This was clearly a good step for my husband, and I saw its advantages for our children. I needed to agree with the fact that God’s love extends to and includes everyone. And so it proved.
Trusting God, giving up fears and mortal projections, always brings the spiritual growth that is recognized in blessings. This kind of trust is not naive, but wise and practical. Practicing dominion over change reveals grace and utilizes the meek authority of the Christ. This dominion is deeply rooted in the admission of the fact that God is being God, and doing all the governing, controlling, supplying, and caring. We don’t have to micromanage our lives when we understand that Life is God, and we are the inseparable expression of that one perfect Life.
Certainly we can welcome the events that would encourage us to discover more of the spiritual and seamless Life that we express. In a message to her Church, Mrs. Eddy wrote: “... Jesus saith: ‘Come unto me.’ O glorious hope! there remaineth a rest for the righteous, a rest in Christ, a peace in Love. The thought of it stills complaint; the heaving surf of life’s troubled sea foams itself away, and underneath is a deep-settled calm” (“Message to The Mother Church for 1902,” p. 19).
This is the spiritual attitude that harmonizes what at first may seem daunting transitions, and enables us to see instead God’s consistent, uninterrupted good.
Adapted from the Christian Science Sentinel.
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