Where is that fountain of youth?

A Christian Science perspective.

Legendary baseball Hall-of-Famer Satchel Paige once asked, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” He offered another thought-provoking quote related to age: “Age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”

Throughout history, the desire to prolong youth and vitality has captivated many. Perhaps the person linked most closely to the search for the elusive fountain of youth is 16th-century explorer Juan Ponce de León, whose expedition took him to Florida, to no avail.

The desire for magical water, tonics, or treatments continues today. In fact, one could say we live in an age-obsessed society, where people feel driven to attain the media’s portrayal of beauty, as “touched up” as it is. 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to put your best face forward, and it’s encouraging to hear that “50 is the new 30” and that a productive life doesn’t end at a certain age. A healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude go a long way toward living a purposeful life.

Despite our best efforts, however, there comes a time when many of us may not be satisfied with our reflection in the mirror; we tend to focus on the imperfections. But there is more to us than physical features. What about that concept of inner beauty?

I’ve found it helpful to turn to the Bible for answers. As recorded in the Gospel of John, Jesus offers a woman a drink from a unique source: “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (4:14). Jesus introduced the renewable, spiritual source of life – one that is attainable here and now.

In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy sheds some light on this topic: “Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life ...” (p. 249). She also said: “Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight” (p. 246). Mrs. Eddy proved this. At the age of 87, when most people have long since retired, she launched the Monitor.

It would be helpful to view ourselves and others with more accepting and less critical eyes. I’ve been able to do this when I’ve focused less on physical attributes and more on spiritual qualities. Then, this statement from "Science and Health" rings true: “One marvels that a friend can ever seem less than beautiful” (p. 248). Beauty is there; we just have to behold it.

Society may continue to bombard us with the idea that we shouldn’t show signs of aging. But as children of God, we are each blessed and eternal. And the more we express Godliness in all that we do, the more spirituality is our reality, reflected even in the mirror.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Where is that fountain of youth?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today