The new decade is already earning a reputation. Boundaries are coming down fast. Visionaries in nanotechnology, for example, are experimenting with the minuteness of matter. They're talking seriously about the possibility of building almost anything, no matter how small, with atomic precision. They say that supercomputers will one day fit in the palm of your hand.
Internet users already know that the Net is obliterating boundaries, providing vast amounts of information, and giving people the ability to communicate and to coordinate activities - anytime, from any location.
A consultant in California's Silicon Valley noted that the Net has helped us transcend the oldest boundary in human history - geography. This was something the founder of the Monitor touched on in an observation she made a century ago: "This age is reaching out towards the perfect Principle of things; is pushing towards perfection in art, invention, and manufacture" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Miscellaneous Writings," pg. 232).
We continue to go beyond what was once believed possible. The limits that individuals and society keep exceeding are really only the limits of what people currently believe. And not just in technology. We're learning our way out of old beliefs in the sciences, in medicine, and throughout business and the marketplace.
What's underlying the progress? Some people might say a healthy economy. Others, the ability to share knowledge with just about anyone, anywhere, almost instantly. But there's something else to consider. It's the irresistible attraction of God, and it's seen in society in a deepening interest in spirituality.
According to one major polling organization, the number of adults in the United States who feel the need to experience spiritual growth surged from 58 percent in 1994 to 82 percent in 1998 - an increase of 24 points in just four years. That's quite a hunger for the things of the Spirit. And a desire for such things is also a desire to know what the possibilities are. What are we capable of?
People are looking to God for answers. Reading the Bible, praying, joining study groups, attending churches or synagogues, going online and participating in chat room discussions on God, spirituality, and religion. They're finding out about the nature and essence of their Maker, the Holy Spirit, God. They're also pondering what it means to be like God, with intelligence and life that are less restricted by physicality, with a nature that is loving and inclusive.
What are the practical effects of these ardent searches to know God better? Boundaries of time and distance are being surpassed. People are gradually leaving behind old beliefs about the limits of age, endurance, work, intelligence, creativity, health. What God told the prophet Isaiah thousands of years ago is sounding as relevant as ever: "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old" (Isa. 43:18).
This breaking up of limits comes as no surprise to spiritual seekers. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy offered why: "The human mind, imbued with this spiritual understanding, becomes more elastic, is capable of greater endurance, escapes somewhat from itself, and requires less repose. A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man" (pg. 128).
In the days and years ahead, we'll all be participating in breakthroughs. Old beliefs and concepts will be replaced with new ones. Those, too, will eventually be outgrown. Divine law - God's law of progress - will continue to impel this growth and enable us to break through barriers.
Spiritual seekers contribute to humanity's progress through individual prayers and spiritual understanding. Insight into God's presence and power, and into the larger capacities we all have because we're God's image, is the most freeing, boundary-breaking step of growth there is.
Create in me
a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right
spirit within me.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society