HAD a rough year? Maybe it would be helpful to reconsider the events of this past year in a new light, so that we can avoid any disconcerting hangover of the old as we proceed into the new. What I'm suggesting is a mental review of events based on a reevaluation of the evidence at hand. Are we justified in doing so? In finding an answer we might look to the life of Christ Jesus.
Consider Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, struggling with the thought of what was about to occur. Was it his Father's will that he should suffer on the cross and subsequently be laid to rest in a dank, dark tomb?
Consider also those who had found in the Master's teaching and healing a hope for the renewal of mankind. By Jesus' crucifixion and interment, their hope seemed cruelly crushed. But was it really?
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, shares with us a very different perspective of Jesus' experience. She writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``The lonely precincts of the tomb gave Jesus a refuge from his foes, a place in which to solve the great problem of being.... He proved Life to be deathless and Love to be the master of hate.''
Is this what his followers, even his disciples, thought was happening in the tomb? Mrs. Eddy says further, ``His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulchre, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense.''1
Surely Jesus could not have triumphed over death had he accepted the world's assessment of what took place in his experience. Instead of yielding to death, he wholly rejected that tomb perspective. Thus he showed what his Father's will really was. He proved for all time the eternality of the life that is of God, and the constancy and power of our Father's love for all His children!
Are we willing to relinquish a narrow, tomb perspective in order to reconsider the events of our own lives and discover God's will operating in ways we've yet to acknowledge? Surely it was God's will operating in Paul's life, and his sincere desire to better understand and conform to that will, which moved him from persecutor of Christians to one of Christianity's foremost progenitors.
From his own experience Paul could say, ``Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.''2
Our Father-Mother God is the sole creator of the universe. His will alone governs man. But it takes keen discernment, a spiritually discriminating eye, to see beyond the human picture of things to the spiritual currents and occurrences of God's kingdom at hand.
If our year was a troubling one, let's pause to reconsider its events. We don't have to go back through a time warp to revise what took place. We need rather to reject a merely human assessment of events and look more deeply to discover what was truly, spiritually substantial in those events. What did we express of God's nature that enabled us to make it through the rough times? Where can we see evidence of His enduring love, uplifting and sustaining us? Had we been more spiritually alert, when could our ``tomb times'' actually have been seen as a refuge, nurturing in us the strength essential to discern God's will for good in our lives? It's important, too, that we come to see that our true selfhood and history are totally spiritual and good, expressing the nature of our creator. It's because this is the reality of our being that we can gain a healing perspective on events and come to see that God's will for us is always and only good.
Developing a new way of reviewing the events of our lives, we will discover what can be cherished of the past and be better prepared to realize the promise of the future.
1Science and Health, p. 44. 2Romans 12:2.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit....The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. Psalms 34:18,22