An annual checkup or an hourly one?

Is there a safe, effective alternative to the annual physical checkup? Without question! We could call it the hourly checkup. Or perhaps the unceasing one. It involves God as our Physician. And it involves our turning to Him regularly.

When you think about it, it's logical that God should provide the steadiest and best care available. He made you, after all, so He is supremely qualified to maintain you. But the ''you'' God made is not what mortals view as flesh and blood and bones. He made you in His, Spirit's, likeness - constituted of perfect , indestructible spiritual substance, of immortal qualities. Health and goodness and love and justice are some of these qualities. God maintains them moment by moment in perfect order.

When we understandingly rely on God for our well-being, the result is not merely an ethereal sense of health or justice. The result is good health in anybody's terms. God's care is genuine and practical. We do have a part to play in this, though. We have to pray, to realize in communion with our creator that He alone governs us, cares for every need, and that our actual being is totally spiritual, without flaw.

Christian Science sheds needed light on the relationship between one's consciousness and one's health. It shows that when we bring our thoughts into harmony with what God knows of us - and live our lives in an honest, moral way that verifies what we're holding in thought - our health is maintained, or regained if that's what is needed. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says simply and directly: ''Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love - the kingdom of heaven - reign within us , and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear.''n1

n1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 248.

What, then, needs to be checked regularly? Not our bodies, but our state of thought. This shift of thought, away from the physical to the spiritual, is an important one. It doesn't neglect our health at all. Actually, it takes us on the most direct, effective path imaginable to sound health. Christ Jesus referred to this mental shift. He said, ''Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. . . . But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.''n2

n2 Matthew 6:25, 33.

Now, just what is this kingdom we are to seek while we are taking no thought for the body? We could describe it in terms of the Godlike qualities we've already mentioned: goodness, justice, mercy, holiness, love, and so on. These are the elements we need to check for regularly, to seek, to let reign within us. They provide a sound basis for health. They also act as a bright backdrop in our thought, causing any dark patch of fear or jealousy or some other ungodlike element to stand out starkly.

Those dark areas are the basis for illness. But they're not part of our true consciousness, which expresses God, the one divine Mind, and His goodness. Routing them out of thought from this standpoint and replacing them with bright, Godlike qualities, is at the heart of maintaining or regaining health. Nothing harmful can happen to, and nothing but good can be found in, the man God made. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 30:17

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