A reason to keep going

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Every once in a while, when I think of what it is that gives people a reason to go on (that is, to be happy, to feel fulfilled, and to continue being of service to others), I recall an experience I had.

I came home from work one day completely exhausted. I went upstairs and flopped onto the bed. Yes, I was tired. Drained. Flat-out wasted, as they say. That bed felt so good that I think I could have stayed there for a week.

Then the phone rang. It was a friend telling me she was totally exhausted, pooped, drained. Just like I felt myself. But she wasn't calling for sympathy. She asked me if I would help her pray to beat this state of fatigue.

Thankfully, I rose to the occasion. I told her that God was her creator. That God was divine Love, her strength - the source of her existence. That God is also divine Life and that this Life is vital, spontaneous, alive. Therefore there is no weariness, no fatigue, no depression for God, and there can't be for His children either.

We talked like this and prayed for 10 minutes or so. My friend said she felt so much better - inspired and refreshed. We were both grateful for the Bible, which teaches those facts of God's goodness, presence, and power to bless us in our lives. The promise of Jesus was that, if we learn about God's infinite love for His children and how to follow God's commands, we can have wonderful blessings right here and now.

The conversation had begun with complaining. But it clearly ended with a tremendous amount of gratitude.

Well, I hung up the phone. I went back to the bedroom and stood at the foot of the bed. But things were not the same. I felt totally inspired and refreshed myself. The spiritual truths I'd shared with my friend had helped me, too. I walked away from the bed, free of fatigue and weariness. I spent the rest of the day in productive activity.

Sometimes the feeling of weariness is more about life in general, and gets so overwhelming that it results in despair. A person may feel that he or she has totally lost all reason to go on, and has to be resigned to a problem. Or that death is the only solution. But the same spiritual fact about how we relate to God applies to an entire life, just as it does to a few hours or one day.

The Bible prophet Elijah seems to have felt he had no reason to go on. In spite of the fact that he was telling people about God and trying to do right, he was being pursued by Queen Jezebel, who threatened to kill him. In despair, he resigned himself, saying, "It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers."

But shortly after that, thoughts of God motivated Elijah to greater purpose. He heard God saying, "Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him" (I Kings 19:4, 18). In other words, there was still a mighty reason to keep going. And Elijah went on for many years, preaching and doing good.

You may not feel you can last even till the end of the month, or even the rest of the day, much less for the rest of your life. But divine Love and Life have for you a perfectly satisfying reason to go on. It is to express the goodness of God, to love His creation, and to bless those around you. That's how God has made you.

The founder of the Monitor said something to Christian Scientists that can help anyone and bring inspiration: "Goodness never fails to receive its reward, for goodness makes life a blessing. As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing" (Mary Baker Eddy, "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," pg. 165).

Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works. Psalms 104:30, 31

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