CALVIN and Hobbes (two comic strip characters) are contemplating life's deeper issues. Calvin, the little boy, asks his stuffed toy tiger, Hobbes, ``Do you know where babies come from?'' Hobbes, in a philosophical flash, checks the back of Calvin's shirt and informs him, ``You came from Taiwan.''1 It's not just kids who ask the timeless question ``Where did I come from?'' Many of us grown-ups ask it as well.
Almost everyone has known days when something within makes him or her sure that existence is the outcome of God. It makes us feel exalted, almost heavenly. There are other days, however, when life seems void of meaning. These swings between a feeling of life's promise and a sense of emptiness encourage a type of spiritual discontentment, a feeling that there must be something more to life than ``just this.''
Christ Jesus wrestled life's questions to conclusions. He expe-rienced every hardship known to human existence. Yet within his struggle to overcome these, he ex-emplified the spiritual, perfect nature of God's man.
Jesus' spiritual origin and obedience to God enabled him to become what we might call the bridge between heaven and earth, the way of reconciliation between God and mankind. In his presence people actually saw their true, spiritual individuality, their godliness. This may be what we too discern on those days when we are conscious of something divine about our daily living. When we glimpse the wonder of existence, void of pride or personal power, this points to the activity of the healing, saving Christ, showing us the way home to heaven.
But to live that goodness we possess by nature means more than catching momentary visions. It means that we must each move from a strictly material sense of existence to a spiritual, heavenly perception of life -- to a sure sense that God is with us.
The Lord's Prayer helps us to understand this transformation. Right between the affirmation of God's kingdom and the petition for earth's basic needs, Jesus prayed, ``Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.''2 This prayer points to the fact that even here on earth we can be at home in heaven -- at home in God's love.
So what are our earthly years all about? Obviously not something we can sum up in a short article. Life's deeper questions actually need a lifetime of living to answer.
The definition of the word year found in the Christian Science textbook by Mary Baker Eddy,3 speaks to our questions. Part of it reads: ``One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity. This exalted view, obtained and retained when the Science of being is understood, would bridge over with life discerned spiritually the interval of death, and man would be in the full consciousness of his immortality and eternal harmony, where sin, sickness, and death are unknown.''4
Where do we come from? Our true and only being is the outcome of God, is a resident of the kingdom of heaven. Actually, the heaven of God's love is where we're living now, and as this recognition guides our thoughts and actions, we'll more readily prove the reality of our spiritual identity. Understanding Life as Spirit and man as spiritual, we'll discover that earth, despite its cruelties and tribulations, can sometimes be heavenly too.
1Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes (Kansas City: Universal Press Syndicate, 1987), p. 36. 2Matthew 6:10. 3The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 4Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 598.