WHEN children are very young, they often share a single stance that symbolizes something universal about mankind. Standing tiptoe with one arm stretched upward and the other providing a measure of balance and stability, this posture might well represent our own position as we near the beginning of the last decade of this century. The twentieth century has certainly witnessed mankind's reaching as far as has been collectively possible. Modern pioneers reach into the vast regions of space, while simultaneously, other investigators peer ever more deeply into sub-visual worlds that can only be tentatively described by complex mathematical formulations. And mankind, sometimes perched precariously on its own material theories and convictions, has lost its balance with tragic consequences.
Yet there is within men and women a spirit that prevails. For every image of sadness and tragedy -- whether on a drought-stricken plain in Africa or at negotiating tables that silently witness to broken promises and conflict -- there is a renewal of commitment, a promise to do better.
There's something profoundly Biblical in such episodes of renewal and in the faith that lies behind them. The prophet Joel might speak just as well to us as we approach a new decade and a new century: ``Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. ...And I [God] will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.''1
Spiritual renewal underlies human progress. And Christian Science shows that if we look with a deeper spiritual sense at each other, we find not simply mortals with costly hopes and sometimes tragic situations, but we begin to discover man as the spiritual image and likeness of God, the one God who is both divine Love and eternal Truth.
If we are to comprehend what compels people's reaching out for a better understanding of themselves and the world in which they live, we must begin to see that this desire is born of spirituality and not matter. It's born of an intuitive, God-derived sense that there must be a divine order to the universe and that man is something far more and better than what the material senses say he is. Spirituality is conceived in love, an unselfed love that progressively draws our lives closer to the very idea of absolute, total good.
This is what God is -- absolute, total good. While such infinite conception may lie outside our present vision, we do have the example of Christ Jesus to guide us. He knew God as divine Love, as a heavenly Father who never abandons or destroys His creation. Following the Master's example and lessons, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, wrote of God's creation in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``All of God's creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible. A realization of this grand verity,'' she went on to say, ``was a source of strength to the ancient worthies. It supports Christian healing, and enables its possessor to emulate the example of Jesus.''2
The first-century model of Christ Jesus can be exactly what is needed for people venturing into the twenty-first century, needing to learn how to preserve life on this planet. We can have faith to face the future. God's infinite love is within reach of our own spiritual desires to be good, to be productive, to experience the brotherhood of man that brings healing throughout the world.
1Joel 2:21, 25. 2Science and Health, pp. 514-515.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. I Corinthians 2:9