You can start fresh

Originally printed in the Christian Science Sentinel

Perhaps you're feeling unemployable despite your recent college degree, struggling through midlife crisis issues, facing retirement decisions, or dealing with anything in between. Take heart - you don't have to start over to start fresh. (And even if your situation doesn't call for a complete overhaul, smaller-scale transformations are possible and can make an enormous difference in your life.)

According to Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, "Truth makes a new creature, in whom old things pass away and 'all things are become new' " ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 201). How can you connect with this Truth that "makes a new creature"? A good first step is to recognize that you're already connected. Truth, as the Bible defines it, is God. And God and you are connected as Father/child, or creator/offspring. Each of us has a relation to God by virtue of being His spiritual creation. Also, our connection to God shows that Truth's transforming power is always at hand because God is always at hand. God is actually as near as your own existence, because God and you are inseparable.

When God, divine Truth, seems far away, you can open your thought to your inherent oneness with Him. The Bible urges, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you" (James 4:8). You can awake to your eternal relationship with your Maker. As you recognize that unbroken and unbreakable relationship, you can begin to see Truth work. Willingness to allow it to transform you is key. This involves listening for and following Truth's direction, wherever it leads - perhaps dropping guilt for past failures, letting go of a view of yourself as inadequate, or allowing forgiveness to dissolve resentment.

One thing is certain: individual transformation is not a matter of developing an identity or trying to become someone you're not. Rather, it's humbly discovering who God made you to be; it's watching Truth reveal what is true about you and others.

God, as the source of all good, is the only source of accurate information about you. The truth of your being lies in the way God defines you - as His own child, joyful, complete, and pure. So when Truth "makes a new creature," what's happening is a process of purification and restoration rather than the creation of something from nothing.

When an expert restores a beautiful building to its original condition, he or she first sees through all that has covered it, and discerns the original. Someone else unskilled, on the other hand, might see only a run-down building. Think of Truth as the ultimate expert on your being. God sees you as He created you - beautiful, pure, and unstained - no matter what obscures that identity, no matter how thick its covering.

Welcoming these ideas into your consciousness brings a whole new light. You see who God made you to be - who you already are.

Accepting this God-given selfhood, you find that bad character traits naturally drop away. It's a welcome relief to find that timidity, short temper, or any other unwanted characteristic was never yours in the first place. As these false traits fall away, true identity is revealed more vividly.

If some attachments seem so fused to your identity that you've accepted them as part of yourself, keep working at it. Transformation may require the persistent mental work of purging false beliefs about yourself from your thinking. Then happiness becomes more consistent, and the ability to see the good in others comes more naturally. New avenues for fuller expression of life open. It feels like coming home.

When we let the clean, fresh shower of Truth wash over us - whether we think we need a light sprinkle or a deluge - it cleanses and purifies.

The result is a life made new.

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

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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