THIS year is the five hundredth anniversary of the voyage of Columbus to the New World. While there is evidence that earlier explorers preceded him, something about his expedition was pivotal. His courage and vision opened up a new view of the globe that changed the Old World and the New.
Most of us wouldn't consider ourselves explorers of new frontiers in the category of Columbus. Yet we each can experience the joy of discovery as we learn more about our true, spiritual nature and our relationship to God.
This understanding, which comes to us through prayer and inspired study of the Bible, helps us to discover that there is something far more real and wonderful than the belief that we are material beings who may or may not be happy, valued, and needed. We learn, in fact, that our real purpose in life is to know God's love and to express it to others. And, perhaps to our surprise, we find we are truly able to feel God's presence and to love our fellow beings. Such loving, when it rests on spiritual underst anding, is a source of joy, healing, and satisfaction.
The basis for our love is the knowledge that man--your and my true being--actually is spir-itual, not material. In other words, instead of identifying with a material body and life--and letting that determine who and what we are--we come to know ourselves as the sons and daughters of God, of Spirit. Through prayer we discover that we relate directly to God, divine Love, and are totally inseparable from Him. This realization opens up the door to spiritual discovery!
Mary Baker Eddy proved this as she discovered and founded Christian Science, which explains the truth that man is actually spiritual and perfect in God's likeness. Her many experiences in establishing a church, The Christian Science Publishing Society, and this daily newspaper certainly showed how spiritual growth increases one's capacities and scope for doing good. In her book The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, she writes, ``We live in an age of Love's divine adventure to be All-in-a ll.
Within Love's allness, we are never unwanted, because Love loves us, and we are never unneeded, because Love's purpose is for us to express Love. In his first letter in the Bible, John writes, ``If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
This understanding of divine Love is not simply theoretical. It can lead to healing in relationships and even in our physical bodies. Such experiences take us into waters that Christ Jesus charted during his ministry and begin to show us that his teachings were meant for us as well as his disciples.
The Master knew no fear or limitation, because he was confident of God's presence in his life, and he was always striving to be obedient to the divine will. This understanding of God drew others to him both for healing and for teaching.
While not everyone agreed with him, those who grasped his spiritual message found that their lives began to open up in ways they could not have imagined. The uneducated fishermen that Jesus included among his disciples, for example, found themselves preaching boldly before religious and civic leaders. They went forth and healed others. Their lives and perceptions were transformed through their growing knowledge of God.
Like these disciples, each of us can accept the fact of our spiritual nature and can begin to see the working of Christ, Truth, in our lives. This occurs as we are able, through prayer, to replace hatred, anger, or fear with love, and as we are able to see even a little bit of our spiritual nature and resist the belief that we are merely material beings.
When we start on this spiritual journey, we quickly find that it is a voyage of discovery that touches past, present, and future. At first we may see God's presence in our lives only in the immediate moment, bringing peace or rest or well-being. Then this vision grows, and we begin to see that in reality divine Love has always governed us, even if we didn't know it in the past. Through such experiences we are able to give up old angers and sorrows; we find that the past is losing its hold on us as our li ves are being made new.
Jesus' disciples probably didn't realize that they were setting out on a spiritual journey to discover the truth that would ultimately transform the world in a way that far surpasses Columbus's voyage, valuable as that was. But they began in simple ways to discover God's power in their lives. By accepting the spiritual adventure divine Love offers us daily, even hourly, we too can explore spiritual frontiers with God. BIBLE VERSE Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ...And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evagelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Ephesians 4:7, 11-13