Age isn't personal

If you've ever been shocked as authorities assumed that of coursem your teen-ager was at fault because young; if you've ever felt hurt when someone richly experienced, whom you love, was brushed aside as "old" . . . then know that what you're experiencing is not actually difficult people attacking those you love. It's the belief that life is essentially materialistic, a belief that projects its dramas of conflict between youth and age like a movie on human thought.

The material sense of life is a false romanticism that ultimately deteriorates, a dream of opposites, youth and age, often inflamed in conflict.

Identifying with time conflicts, we pay penalties. Believing ourselves young , or pursuing youth, we may experience needless persecution -- the cramping of our idealism, the blocking of our progress.

Thinking ourselves old, we may feel like snapping at young people, then may have this objectified on our bodies as illness.

The real prison from which we must release ourselves and others is not just a sickbed, jail, drug center, or old-age home. It's the belief that time traits are real and personal, with conflict inevitable -- youthful energy fighting for its place, age's experience resisting and holding on.

This is not God's view of life. The Bible shows that when we live with spiritual vision, energy is not confined to youth nor is wisdom exclusive to age. The child Samuel prophesying, Jesus at twelve confounding the temple teachers, the young Solomon ruling, prove that God originates wisdom. It need not always stem from mortal experience. Moses' active life unabated and strong despite age, Caleb's fighting strength -- both prove energy can endure.

Because energy and wisdom are not biological but spiritual, they needn't conflict. Joel describes the cooperation possible in spiritual vision: "I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." n1

n1 Joel 2:28.

Negative time traits needn't touch us. Mary Baker Eddy n2 writes, "The measurement of life by solar years robs youth and gives ugliness to age." She suggests: "Never record ages. Chronological data are no part of the vast forever. Time-tables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood. Except for the error of measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful, man would enjoy more than threescore years and ten and still maintain his vigor, freshness, and promise." n3

n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 246.

Refusing to attach time traits to others or live them ourselves, we more quickly understand that time attacks are never really personal. Feeling them less, we shelter others more effectively as we move quickly to find solutions unimpeded by cramps of grief or reaction.

Politically, age fears youth's energy will burst into revolution instead of reform. Youth suspects conservatism, perservation, to be merely restrictive.

But living from God's timeless classicism of eternity, we'll work for straightforward progress of spirituality: wisdom inspiring energy, energy supporting wisdom. Progress has nothing but blessings for us when we know that age isn't personal! DAILY BIBLE VERSE Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. . . . Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. Isaiah 40:28, 30, 31

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