Consciousness is never experienced in the plural, only in the singular. You may come to a distant country, lose sight of all your old friends, may all but forget them; you acquire new friends, you share life with them as intensely as you ever did with your old ones. Less and less important will become the fact that, while living your new life, you will still recollect the old one. You may come to speak of "the youth that was I" in the third person. Indeed the protagonist of the novel you are reading is probably nearer to your heart, certainly more intensely alive and better known to you. Yet there has been no intermediate break, no death. In no case is there a loss of personal existence to deplore. Nor will there ever be.1524
Change makes terrific news stories. A new United States President makes changes in government. The media and public attention focus on the change. Some yearn for a change back to the way it was; others hope for a change forward to an ideal future.
Behind these hopes and yearnings lies a deeper searching for what migh appear at first to be two opposites -- permanence and renewal. We want both the stability that allows us confidence and the energy and freshness that invigorate our own lives and our institutions and societies.
In such a combination impossible? Are we stuck with either too much change or too little? As a matter of fact, this combination is not impossible if we are willing to push beyond human strategies, institutions, political and physical forces. What we are really looking for can only be found in God. God is Life -- the source of renewal, the source of permanence.
How do we find this God that quenches our thirst for renewal and satisfies our longing for stability? For someone caught up in concern about change, the Bible has a no-nonsense answer: "Be still, and know that I am God." n1
n1 Psalms 46:10
This stillness God calls for is not a consolation prize for those without the vision to bring about needed change, not a hideout for those too weak to hold their fort against disruptive change. This stillness is the very presence of God made evident to the yearning, praying thought. It is in stillness that we experience God as Mind -- the Mind in which man lives. God, Mind, creates, commands, establishes, enriches, enlivens. Mind never stops expressing itself in the universe and the man of its creating. And we are that man in that universe, for the only identity we truly have is God's perfect image, the expression of infinite, divide Life.
Profound evidence of God as indestructible, undecaying, creative Life is seen in the career of Christ Jesus. He came to illustrate the Life that is God. His Beatitudes give us a glimpse into the very essence of Life -- they show us that spiritual stillness takes form in meekness, purity, mercy, hunger for righteousness, peacemaking. How active spiritual stillness is! In his healing work Jesus showed Life, the renewer -- transforming lives and bodies. In his resurrection Jesus showed us Life, the indestructible, the invulnerable. Even hate, lawlessness, persecution, could not snuff out the expression of this Life in him. The permanence of God appeared in Jesus' life as the regenerating power of the Christ.
This Christly power, reflecting Life, is our hope now as we face change --whether the change we wish for or the change we dread. As we in stillness come to feel and know the presence of God, we are impelled to Christly action, just as Jesus felt moved to heal, regenerate, and awaken. Nothing can resist the demonstration of divine power or constrain the calm prayer that knows God. We can face change on the human scene with spiritual strength and vision because we can break through the ground rules of mortality. We are not locked into birth-death-bound life. God is true Life and Mind. And that Mind, Life, is right here, holding man in its presence.
What confidence we can feel about our own lives and our influence in our society as we read this rousing call Mary Baker Eddy n2 gives: "Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine 'powers that be.'" n3
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 249
As we change our view of God, we experience God as the regenerating power, the establishing presence, as Life itself. The effect in our lives is a restoration of health, an enriching of family relations, a strengthening of moral vision and courage. We express more enlightened, God-directed individuality and more effective leadership in the affairs of our society and our world. Then we can experience the comfort and courage of this message to the Israelites: "I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." n4
n4 Malachi 3:6.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58