A Clean Slate

MOST of us have a few things in our mental closet that we would like to get rid of. But for one reason or another we don't let them go; we keep dragging them out and reviewing all the details. We let them become a part of us.

But we can wipe the slate clean right now with God's help. Do you remember those childhood ``magic slate'' boards that you would draw on with a plastic stylus? Then when you were finished, you lifted the plastic sheet, and the markings all disappeared, like ``magic.'' Of course you knew that the marks were not really on the clean plastic sheet, but it looked as if they were. Actually, they were only impressions made by the stylus. Lifting up the plastic sheet was the key to making the marks disappear.

What does a child's slate have to do with eliminating difficult and recurring memories from our lives today? It helps us to see that any ``marks against us'' have never really been a part of God's man--of us--any more than the designs on the slate are a part of the plastic sheet. The Apostle Paul points out in his letter to the Philippians, ``This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the h igh calling of God in Christ Jesus'' (3:13, 14). We can claim our sonship as the perfect children of God and go forward to prove this spiritual fact by our lives.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, tells us in her book Retrospection and Introspection: ``The human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged'' (p. 22). She knew the human heart well, and she had great compassion for the needs of every individual. She also knew, however, that we don't progress if we keep rehearsing past difficulties. The demand is not simply to bury past problems, but to see that they are actually no part of our God-given nature. T his spiritual perspective enables us to expunge--to completely destroy--any belief that our past can cause any irreconcilable or irredeemable effects on our bodies or our lives. Man is not governed by evil but by God, good.

To ``revise'' and ``expunge'' might seem hard to do if we were simply mortals, with entrenched mortal minds. But we aren't. We are actually the beloved children of God. We are His spiritual, clear-minded offspring. God's man has always had a clean slate to fill with the goodness and joy that are natural to God's reflection, and this spiritual fact is true about you and me.

Remember the ``magic slate'' board and how lifting the plastic sheet erased all the markings? As we strive to lift up, to understand more fully, the spiritual facts of man in our thinking, we find a marvelous thing happening. The ``marks,'' or scars of error, on our mental tablet disappear. Dark thoughts and their physical effects cannot stay around when the light of truth has shone in consciousness and has lifted up the real man in our sight. We are then permanently healed.

This was demonstrated in our family when an experience at summer camp had left one of our children with a scar on her face. After two years, I realized that the scar was not fading as I had expected. I turned to God in prayer. I realized that I needed to see that in reality my daughter had never been touched by something unpleasant that could leave its mark on her. I also prayed to understand that because she is the image and likeness of God, she is dependent only on His law of perfection for the status of her being. She is not subject to the laws of matter. This spiritual fact obliterated the material record of matter-based expectations, and it also eliminated the scar on her cheek. Healing was the natural result. Understanding God's love for us had wiped the slate clean.

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