Urban development is usually carefully controlled. Zoning laws, building permits, and renewal programs, as well as economic feasibility, regulate the growth of most modern cities, preventing or replacing haphazard construction.
Do we exercise as much dominion over what develops in our lives as planning commissions exercise over what develops in our cities?
Christian Science teaches that thinking - good or bad - affects our bodies and our entire surroundings. If we would improve our health, we have continual opportunity to order and improve our thoughts. We can choose prayerfully what we want to see develop in our characters and corporealities, and work at carrying out our choices.
What represents true growth for an individual?
For growth to be ideal, it must be more lasting than anything material or mortal can be. It must be spiritual.
But what is spiritual growth? The Christian activity of understanding and demonstrating what God creates and unfolds. God - infinite, all-inclusive good -has created only good. To Him, no abnormal, subnormal, or dangerous growth exists. Nothing can develop in God's creation but what He designs and decrees -- all good and only good. Man, as God's likeness, expresses His perfect nature.
Our perception and practice of this truth provide for normal and needed growth and prevent whatever isn't really growth at all but merely accumulated errors we can choose to discard. I learned this through a healing experience.
My hairdresser noticed with alarm a small growth that suddenly appeared on my forehead at the hairline. Although he took meticulous care, he inadvertently disturbed it with a comb, and from then on it seemed necessary for me to keep a patch over it as it rapidly increased in size.
He kept urging me to have it surgically removed, and I kept assuring him that Christian Science would heal it. Demonstrating that assurance became a test of my faith.
I cultivated faith with the help of the Bible's explanation, ''Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.''n1
n1 Hebrews 11:1.
I reasoned that because the state of our faith is the state of our substance, faith must become the only evidence consulted. So I stopped feeling around and peering into the mirror to see if matter might have fixed itself up.
Soon faith in God's willingness and power to reward my efforts grew into a spiritual understanding that because God makes and maintains only perfection, there had never, in truth, been an imperfection at all! Then the true growth, the spiritual understanding, that had developed, took form in the countenance of my daily practice, and I was healed. It took three hair appointments for anyone to notice. Then everyone in the shop rejoiced.
Christian Science practice is more than a disposer of evil. It is a developer of good. Christian discipleship involves cultivating Godlike qualities. This true growth is the behest of infallible Mind, God. Drawing into accord with Mind's ceaseless unfoldment of its own nature rights the whole corporeality - mind and physique - more efficiently than urban renewal renovates municipal mistakes.
Prayer in Christian Science is far from a mechanical or imaginative thought-projection that sets in motion a material operation. Human thought is the source of, not the solution for, its own errors. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, ''Human thought never projected the least portion of true being."n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 126.
Christian Science healing spiritually awakens us from human reasoning to the realization of our uninvaded and uninvadable spiritual perfection. In proportion as faith buds into understanding and understanding blooms into demonstration, we progress from the standpoint of hoped-for substance and unseen evidence into the perception of eternal reality, of tangible, visible, divine good. And once again , in some modest but unmistakable echo of Christ Jesus' appearing, the Word is made flesh and dwells among us. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. II Peter 3:18