How many of us, at some time, have longed to forget an unhappy past, to start again, leaving behind yesterday's sorrow? We can do just that. No matter how hard we try, we cannot really live in yesterday or tomorrow; we can only live in the ``now'' of today. We have Biblical authority to cast off the influence of an unhappy past. St. Paul asserted, ``Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.'' 1 And the Psalmist sang, ``This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.'' 2
If anyone had cause for regret, it was Paul. Before his conversion to Christianity, and known as Saul, he zealously persecuted and imprisoned the followers of Christ Jesus. Then, on a journey to Damascus, he encountered ``a light from heaven'' and was temporarily blinded. His sight restored by a Christian disciple, Saul became a devout follower of Christ. He forsook his regrettable past, so much so that even his name was changed. As Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, he traveled throughout the Roman wo rld, preaching Christianity and healing by the power of Christ.3 Paul has said, ``This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.'' 4
But how can we forget ``those things which are behind'' when yesterday's problems extend into today? We can see each new day as totally under God's jurisdiction. We can see it as an opportunity to claim our relationship to our Father-Mother God, to realize and prove that we are His beloved offspring. Establishing in thought our unity with Him is prayer that heals, that puts us on the right mental footing to face each day with dominion.
The absolute truth at the heart of our daily prayer is that we are the children of an infinitely good creator, the very image of divine Love. And because God is the only genuine cause, and He causes good alone, only the good in our past has genuine validity. If we are willing to let the regrets and sadness go, forsaking every thought that would make us miserable, and instead endeavor to really be the reflection of God in thought, word, and deed, we'll be the master of our day. If we've be en ensnared by sin, we may need to work hard to be free of it. But we can be free, because God is Love, and our true selfhood is His likeness. No past is unredeemable. No grief is so heavy that we cannot lay it down at His feet and go forward with an expectancy of good and a willingness to acknowledge God's presence with us.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, ``To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.''5 These blessings are ours to claim now; we don't have to put them off. Dwelling on past misfortunes, we deny ourselves the good that is ours to experience at this moment. As Mrs. Eddy writes, ``Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear,--this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony.'' 6 We live in the now
of God's day, and there has never really been any other day! 1 II Corinthians 6:2. 2 Psalms 118:24. 3 See Acts, chapters 9 and 13. 4 Philippians 3:13, 14. 5 Science and Health, p. vii. 6 Ibid., p. 324.