IF you've ever owned a cat, you know that cats can exhibit some amazing behavior. They will sit peacefully one moment and the next be leaping through the air. My cat is no exception. Although I have no idea what sparks this sudden frenzied activity, I enjoy laughing at his antics.
About a year ago, though, I realized that I hadn't seen any leaping or charging for some time. I also noticed that my cat spent practically all of his time curled up underneath a piece of furniture, barely moving.
I thought to myself, ``Well, he's getting older; it's probably harder for him to move around than it used to be.'' I continued thinking along these lines for a couple of weeks. Then, one day, as I was looking at my cat, asleep under the television, I again began to think that it was too bad that the days of fun and activity were over. All at once I realized what I was thinking. I was accepting the mortal belief that age could cause this creature to suffer and decline, and that this would continue until his death. I also saw that if I accepted this lie for my cat, I was also accepting it for me. At that thought a vehement ``No!'' filled my thinking.
Being a lifelong Christian Scientist, I had learned that God is good, that He loves His creation, and that He doesn't cause suffering. I had witnessed and experienced many examples of God's tender care and had come to trust that this care was there for me and for all. God would not allow a man or any creature to reach maturity and then decline to death. What kind of God would set up such a plan?
Christ Jesus' example proved that life is actually spiritual and eternal. His reappearance after the crucifixion was solid proof that man does not end in death. He said, John's Gospel records, ``This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent'' (17:3). Knowing God and utilizing the lessons Jesus taught us about man's relationship to God, we can reject the whole false scenario of mortal birth, growth, maturity, decline, and death. Every element of God's creation is spiritual, already perfect and complete.
God is expressed through His creation. In the first chapter of Genesis we are told that man was made in His likeness and that ``God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good'' (1:31). It stands to reason that God's creation would remain the way He had created it, good. Creation couldn't be good for a brief period and then fall apart. It couldn't get old, tired, worn-out. Mary Baker Eddy, the author of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, writes: ``Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight'' (p. 246).
It took only a few minutes of prayer for the preceding thoughts to replace the ones I had previously been thinking about my cat's age. Then suddenly, in an instant, my cat darted out from under the television, ran up and down the stairs a couple of times, did a lap around the house, and leapt several feet into the air trying to catch a fly. He has continued to live at his normal level of activity since then.
We don't have to allow suffering and limitation to accumulate in our lives. We don't have to go along with lessening health and ability. We have divine power to live as God has made us--forever good and vigorous.