I WAS spending my junior year abroad and longing for a touch of home. My grandmother, who had never been to Europe, was coming to spend a few weeks with me. Together we would visit some other countries. I was concerned, however, as to whether my grandmother would be able to keep up with a rigorous tour schedule. She had done little traveling. I didn't want to push her, and yet there was much to do in a very short time.
She arrived at dawn after an all-night flight, and immediately I saw I was in for trouble--but of an unexpected kind. I assured her that since she must be very tired, I would take her right to the hotel for a nap. She looked at me strangely and said she never took naps before breakfast. I told her about jet lag, explaining that her body was still on New York time. She chuckled and kindly told me not to worry, since she had brought her body right along with her. In fact, it had arrrived in Paris at the same time she had, and she added that she never went back to bed once she was up.
This was not just a case of an energetic senior citizen. Through Christian Science my grandmother had learned something of her true identity as the expression of God, Spirit. God is not a human invention; He is the source of all being, the only real Ego, the all-acting I AM. Actually, in a very unique sense, we might say that man is a divine invention, since he is the child of God. As the offspring of Spirit, man naturally includes the spiritual qualities of energy, freedom, restfulness, spontaneity, and love.
When we consider the energy of life to be nothing more than a chemical reaction, we reduce man to mere material organization. Matter, by nature, is limited, and so is its energy. But limitation is not law, and we can cast it off as we reject the belief that matter is our vital force.
Not one of us wholly accepts this belief. We've all witnessed a sudden change in energy when our interest was aroused, or we've thrown off our bedroom slippers for our dancing shoes when the right invitation came along. Often it's obvious that our energy level is determined by thought.
We need to move beyond a limited, personal sense of mental or physical power to the recognition that God is the source of all genuine strength and activity--the source and substance of our very lives. True energy is not a vital current that wanes gradually as we mature. Rather, it's a God-derived force that we can enjoy at any age through a higher, spiritual sense of God and man.
Biological youth is a false god, promising great vigor but delivering steady decline at each bend. The prophet writes, ``Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.''1
I had to prove this truth for myself when my job involved strenuous travel schedules and I would often go thirtyfive hours at a stretch without sleep. The more I understood that God is all-acting, and that man is the expression of God, the freer my action became and the greater my endurance. I also discovered that fast is no more spiritual than slow. These are human measurements. God's activity is timeless. I stopped using sleep simply to recharge myself and instead yielded to God's pacing and design.
Spiritual energy, by virtue of its source, is always safe, productive, and appropriate. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``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.''2 This inexhaustible and life-giving resource is what we really need. Real power is spiritual, not molecular, and God alone is its unending source.
1Isaiah 40:30, 31. 2Science and Healthwith Key to the Scriptures, p. 249. DAILY BIBLE VERSE In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God . . . God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Psalms 62:7, 11