In my business people talk to me about their problems. Recently I've noticed that a lot of people are suffering from what I call the "don't do's." These are things people give up that they used to do when they were more agile or flexible or versatile or athletic - or when they were younger.
But occasionally I find people who just don't buy into that. They haven't ceased doing what they've always done. And naturally, everyone would like to know how to advance in years without slipping into inactivity and decline.
What helps me is to begin by thinking of God as being Life. That synonym for God expresses divine existence plus performance. It means that God is not just ever present, but is capable of expressing His action through His sons and daughters. As His reflection, we are each made to express activity without limit. This is because God is the source and cause of all existence. He is the producer of all action.
We can prevent the cessation of meaningful activity in our lives. We can discover our spiritual abilities. And we can find power over what limits our expression of Life.
Leaving off normal and proper activities is often done because we're afraid. But we can overcome fear by getting a deeper conviction of God as Life. As conscious existence. As existence plus performance. And this conviction is something we can all grow in, no matter how many times we've seen the sun rise and set.
I have a friend who is up there in years. When her husband passed away, she found she had a choice. She could either sit around missing him and let the home fall apart. Or she could begin learning to do things herself. She chose the latter, which involved beginning a career of her own and travelling extensively. She had to take care of the finances, make travel arrangements, begin cold calls on customers, attend meetings, and learn all about presenting a new product.
Now, she didn't do all this through willpower. Rather, she understood that relying on God for her strength and intelligence is practical. Her age had nothing to do with her abilities, because she recognized that her capacity was spiritual, given by God, forever. She prayed, and frankly accepted that she reflected God's goodness. She refused to be a collector of don't do's.
Perpetual progress and expanding usefulness result from understanding more fully that God is Life. From seeing that God is the source of continuity and uninterrupted goodness. These are qualities that you and I reflect from God. When we really accept this in our consciousness, it takes form in our lives.
God enforces His good throughout His creation. It's going on all the time. If we don't see any sign of it, we can pray to yield our thought to God's direction and begin to discern our freedom spiritually.
Mary Baker Eddy launched this newspaper in her 88th year. She wrote, "Limitations are put off in proportion as the fleshly nature disappears and man is found in the reflection of Spirit" ("Retrospection and Introspection," pg. 73).
If you devote yourself to knowing God, there doesn't need to be a time when you anticipate less activity, when you don't drive, balance your checkbook, go to work, or get close to someone. Knowing God means a constant, moment-by-moment expectation of spiritual growth, newness, freshness. Actually, He always makes these qualities available. He always causes us to reflect on His existence - which results in productive activity.
The righteous shall flourish
like the palm tree:
he shall grow like a cedar
in Lebanon. Those that
be planted in the house
of the Lord shall flourish
in the courts of our God.
They shall still bring forth
fruit in old age; they shall
be fat and flourishing;
to shew that the Lord is
upright: he is my rock,
and there is no
unrighteousness in him.