'To this end was I born'

A Christian Science perspective: No matter how difficult our lot in life may be, God's guiding hand is always accessible.

Many of us wonder, “Why am I here? What does God want from me?”

Jesus provides an answer. When he stood before Pontius Pilate prior to his crucifixion, the Roman ruler asked him, “Art thou a king then?” The Master replied, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth” (John 18:37).

Some of us squint at the world through jaded eyes. Perhaps our childhood was stunted by poverty or the loss of a parent. Maybe we feel we aren’t smart enough or attractive, or that we had less than other kids. Some even shout their blues to the world with a tattoo, “Born to Lose.”

But however hateful our lot in life seems to be, the Bible assures us worldly woe is not the truth of our being. “The Lord is good to all,” says a psalm (145:9).

The good news of the Gospel is what Jesus told Pilate. We are here to bear witness to the truth. God’s truth. That means we share the Master’s momentous mission to witness God’s perfect rule. Each of us is a unique expression of God, showing Him forth as rays of light show the sun. We are His most cherished creation. Without us, God would reign alone, unexpressed and unknown in His own kingdom.

As His beloved spiritual ideas, made in His image and likeness (see Genesis 1:26-27), we are His very self-expression. This identity, or eternal unfoldment of good, is the only true reality. In a sense, we make God complete. The Bible says, “[Y]e are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God” (Isaiah 43:12).

These ideas freed me from the grip I felt from my own beginnings. Things didn’t look so bright when I was born in the worst year of the Great Depression. My grandfather, a jobless tool and die maker, sold apples near his shuttered factory in Newark, N.J. His son (my father), an engineer, passed on at age 25.

After Dad passed, my maternal grandmother moved in with us to care for my baby sister and me while Mom went to work and later remarried. I attended eight schools as a boy, went broke in college, and enlisted in the Air Force with $2 in my pocket. Without a college degree, my dream of becoming a jet pilot was over. To this end was I born?

I’m grateful the answer was no! The Bible showed me how fear and anger melt in the sunlight of truth as we witness the Christ. I’ve come to know the Christ as “the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 332). I’ve learned that mortal life is not the truth of being. We are not made in the image and likeness of a suffering God. That realization lit the way for me amid the earthly gloom trying to hide the divine good already present.

I found reassurance in this statement from Isaiah: “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee” (41:13).

As I moved forward in my study of Christian Science, a new world of life, joy, and freedom opened to me. My college English major, although cut short after two years, got me a reporter’s job on an Air Force newspaper, hatching a half-century career in journalism that had me chasing stories from Bikini Atoll to the frozen vastness of Alaska, and across the fruited plains of Iowa and Nebraska.

At every crossroad, divine Love was there to help me choose the right path. While in the Air Force, I met my future wife, and Judi and I have been married 54 years.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, says, “Divine Love alone governs man” (“Church Manual,” p. 40). And these words of hers helped chart my path in life: “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” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 165).

To this glorious end were you and I born.

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