Last chance?

THE notion that one may be facing his last chance, or has already used up his last chance, is clearly discouraging. But the truth is that when it comes to the fulfilling of a human need, you can never come to a last chance. There is no last chance for companionship, employment, health. In the Bible, God is presented as eternally good and unchanging: ``I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.''1 And in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``Mortals believe in a finite personal God; while God is infinite Love, which must be unlimited.''2 Health, resources, freedom, and the capacity to experience these, can never be consumed, can never run out.

``Last chance'' suggests final opportunity. Although the words chance and opportunity are sometimes used similarly, they don't convey the same meaning. Chance suggests luck. Opportunity is more freeing, suggesting a favorable occasion for fulfilling a purpose. The concept is especially reassuring when we realize that because God is our loving Father, He is always providing each one of us with the continuous opportunity to express His nature and to progress.

One reason we don't always see this is that we're accustomed to viewing ourselves as mere struggling mortals, vainly scrambling to make things work through whatever human mental or physical resources we think are available.

A material view of ourselves and the world necessarily comes up against material limitations. But learning to see our real, spiritual nature--to see that man is complete because God, his creator, is complete--begins to free us from limitation. This spiritual sense of things is radically different from the general, limited, worldly view, but it is nonetheless very practical.

The Bible is filled with examples of individuals who found God-derived resources when all material sources for them seemed nonexistent or exhausted. For example, a Biblical story tells of the woman Hagar, sent into the desert with her young child. Their water supply became exhausted. Discouraged, Hagar placed the child under a bush apart from her, because she couldn't bear to see him die. However, at this juncture she heard a message from God, an angel, telling her not to be afraid. God opened her eyes, and she saw water where she hadn't seen it before. They were saved.3

As we read the Gospel accounts, it becomes abundantly clear that Christ Jesus put no one in a category of being beyond God's help. The opportunity to seek and find spiritual goodness can't be withheld from us, though it's clear that in order to experience God's goodness we need to be willing to part with whatever would obscure it--to part with sensuality or dishonesty or whatever would oppose the operation of divine law.

Science and Health, the Christian Science textbook, points out reassuringly, ``It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.''4 In a very profound sense, then, there's no ``last chance'' circumstance. Every day and every hour is an opportunity to progress and be blessed, because God's love and His law ensure progress, and nothing, ultimately, can block the operation of God's law. 1Malachi 3:6. 2Science and Health, p. 312. 3See Genesis 21:9-20. 4Science and Health, p. 494. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people. I Samual 12:22


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