I was talking on the telephone with a friend one day when she suddenly burst out laughing. My son, she said, was walking past her house at that moment on his way to the village -- wearing socks, but no shoes.
That evening I asked the boy about his unusual walking attire. "You told me I could get new soccer shoes today," he said in all seriousness. "I left my old shoes at home, because I didn't want to carry them around with me. I was going to play later with some friends.
While our son's approach to buying new shoes was rather unconventional, I concluded that from the standpoint of his primary objective -- to be free of encumbrances in order to concentrate on soccer with his friends -- his reasoning was logical. He readily left behind the old, as he reached out for the new.
Receptivity to new ways of doing things is supposedly a characteristic of youth. But why should it be limited to one age-group?
Newness is a quality of God. As God's idea, man naturally includes all the good and pure qualities that constitute spiritual being, including vitality, vigor, energy, freshenss -- and newness.
The prophet Isaiah gives assurance of this: "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." n1
n1 Isaiah 43:19.
We don't have to waitm for something new to start developing inour lives. Instead, as the Bible verse assures us, God's new thoughts, His new directions, can "spring forth" now.m Whether our need is for a better job, a closer, kinder relationship with someone, or for a more active retirement, we can expect the guiding thought to appear in a manner that is clearly apparent and immediately available.
So often it is fear that keeps us mired in repetitive patterns of thought. We continue along a well-rutted course because we're afraid going in a new direction might lead us into unknown areas -- wilderness areas, to use a Biblical metaphor, where we think we won't be able to cope.
But in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m Mary Baker Eddy n2 presents an interpretation of "wilderness" that helps one deal with fear. she first defines it as "loneliness; doubt; darkness." Then she continues: "Spontaneity of thought and idea; the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence." n3 New challenges, when they are seen as adventures in spiritual living, can bring far-reaching blessings.
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n3 Science and Health, m p. 597.
Loneliness may stem from the belief that we are separated from God. But this is a mistaken concept. We can prove God's presence in our lives just as Christ Jesus did. His understanding of God prompted these words: "He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone." n4 By stilling our thought we become aware of the right ideas God is always giving us, ideas that dispel fear, doubt, and ignorance. Through this yielding process we turn away from old, encumbering attitudes and accept spontaneously the good thoughts that show us who we really are.
n3 John 8:29.
As the understanding of our spiritual nature and our unique place in the divine order improves, we'll begin to see that this truth is the fact for everyone. Left behind will be the "old shoes" of timidity, vulnerability to others' shortcomings, uncertainty, and apathy. In their place will appear confidence, patience, and spiritual initiative that make newness a way of life. DAILY BIBLE VERSE If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; . . . And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning. Job 11:14,15,17