IT is natural for us all to want to be fit and healthy. Yet it seems that society works so hard at its incessant search for wellness that it may be making many people feel worse. In his book Worried Sick: Our Troubled Quest for Wellness, Dr. Arthur J. Barsky writes: ``Our society devotes enormous human and economic resources to studying the body, staying healthy, and treating disease. But in spite of our success, there is a pervasive cultural atmosphere of dis-ease.... The ability to appreciate our good health, a secure feeling of physical well-being and confident vigor, eludes us.''1
Certainly self-consciousness about health and fear about the body do not contribute much to peace of mind. So where can we find a more secure sense of health?
Many people today turn to God in prayer to find comfort and a more reliable answer to their health problems. This seems logical when we begin to glimpse that there is a higher dimension to life than just a physical round of eating, exercising, and weight-watching.
Christ Jesus helped his followers to get this deeper spiritual view of life when he taught: ``Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.'' He counseled, ``Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.''2
How can putting God first enable us to maintain good health and help others to find it? By acknowledging God as the only Life and the Father of all, we begin to free thought from a matter-based concept of life as dependent on the body, and we glimpse something of our true spiritual identity as God's likeness.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, longed to help humanity in its quest for holiness and freedom from suffering. Her own search culminated in her discovery of the Science of Christianity, which helps people to find their spiritual identity and their well-being in God, Spirit.
As we bring our lives under the law of God and gain the purer, more spiritual perception that follows from spiritual regeneration, we begin to realize that so-called man-made laws of health need not dictate terms to us. Though it might seem that the human, mortal mind has the capacity to focus our thought on the body with its illusive pleasures, pains, and appetites, step by step we gain some freedom from this very limited frame of reference. As we turn away from excessive bodily demands, we find increased freedom in recognizing that our true health is perpetually maintained in God. Health in its deepest sense is the outcome of learning more of our wholeness as His image.
Health is a spiritual quality and cannot be depleted. We all have a right to exercise it just as we express other divine attributes.
In fact, Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy encourages, ``Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love -- the kingdom of heaven -- reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear.''3
We will begin to find more consistent health and well-being as we look to God and gain a fuller understanding of our present spiritual stature in His likeness.
1Worried Sick: Our Troubled Quest for Wellness (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1988), pp. 7-8. 2See Matthew 6:25, 33. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 248.
This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the January 23 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.