Something for the New Decade?
AS we enter the 1990s, it's natural to wonder what's ahead. Certainly all of us would want it to be full of love, joy, and progress for each of us. And it can be -- if we are careful to reconsider the last decade. But there is more to this reconsidering than just forgetting past mistakes. It includes actually correcting mistakes by more completely understanding ourselves as the timeless and perfect children of God. Timeless? It really isn't difficult, is it, to think of God in terms of timelessness. God is eternal Spirit. He doesn't age. Couldn't this have been what the Psalmist meant when he wrote, ``For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past''?1 A logical extension of this, then, is that man, God's spiritual offspring, is also timeless.
Another fundamental truth about God is His perfection and the corresponding perfection of all that God does and creates. As the Bible puts it: ``I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it.''2
So, it seems safe to say, God needs no revising. Nor is there anything in God's creation -- including this timeless and perfect spiritual man -- that needs revision. What may need revision -- and what can be corrected -- is our own thought of ourselves. We can strengthen our perception of that perfect, sinless, spiritual model of the man that God creates and governs in order to bring its healing effects into our experience. Certainly this is our true nature as described so clearly in the teachings of Christ Jesus.
Haven't we all, though, had painful incidents or unpleasant periods that we hope will not be part of our next decade? Such regret over the past can hinder us in the present. But, as children show great resiliency in putting the lumps and bumps of the previous day behind them, we can exercise spiritual resiliency in abandoning the errors of yesterday for the timeless, spiritual selfhood that is our true heritage.
Pain can disappear from our thought of the past when we take up this spiritual revision. If we appear to have been the victims of wrongdoing, for example, we can look more deeply into the nature of God's love for us. Such spiritual insight can turn victimization into victory. If, on the other hand, an honest look reveals that we victimized ourselves, we can cast aside wrong ways of thinking and acting for what we now know of God and of ourselves as the man of His creating. This gets the needed spiritual revision under way. Continuing it requires our daily, prayerful pursuit of the spiritual ideal. We may not find this easy, of course, but as we work at it, we see that past loss can be turned into spiritual gain now.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, understood these lessons well. ``The heavenly intent of earth's shadows is to chasten the affections,'' she says, ``to rebuke human consciousness and turn it gladly from a material, false sense of life and happiness, to spiritual joy and true estimate of being.''3 From this perspective, far from being servants of the past or prisoners of it, we can be its master. ``The human history needs to be revised,'' Mrs. Eddy continues, ``and the material record expunged.''4
What better preparation could there be to enter the next decade?
1Psalms 90:4. 2Ecclesiastes 3:14. 3Retrospection and Introspection, p. 21. 4Ibid., p. 22.