The good that’s ours right now

A Christian Science perspective: Peace and joy are inherent in us, now and always.

“Those were the days.” How many of us have felt that kind of wistful yearning for a time past – maybe time spent with family no longer with us, a point when we felt healthier or wealthier, or an era when things just seemed better somehow?

It’s a wonderful thing to recall treasured memories or learn useful lessons from the past. But sometimes we may find ourselves dwelling on those times with a longing that would rob us of our present happiness, or make us think there isn’t enough good to go around for all of us or for all time.

In situations like that, I’ve found comfort and healing by turning to God. When cheerful reminiscing has turned into a sad sense that the beauty of those times is gone, acknowledging that no one can ever be separated from divine Love has dissolved heartache and brought a fresh sense of gratitude and joy. When I’ve felt that some element of good in the world has been lost, recognizing that God, good, could never disappear has brought a tangible sense of hope and greater inspiration to my prayers.

Indeed, Christ Jesus showed us that at any moment, even in the grimmest of circumstances, we can turn to God, divine Love, as a reliable source of health, harmony, and joy. Jesus healed people everywhere he went; there were no “on” or “off” days. “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,” promised the apostle Paul (II Corinthians 6:2). Right now, and forever, God’s goodness is infinite. What’s more, Love created us in its own spiritual image, as the very expression of that goodness. Peace and wholeness are part of what we truly are.

How freeing it is to know that good doesn’t depend on a given person, time, or circumstance! That doesn’t mean we should forget about people and events that have meant so much to us. Rather, we can honor and appreciate them even more fully by recognizing that the joy and love we may have felt in those times is ours forever, and can be felt in many forms. This is our inheritance as divine Love’s children.

Even when it seems that something good has been lost, we can trust that the unfolding, not dwindling, of good is what’s natural. A genuine desire to understand God as the eternal source of good enables us to see God’s goodness manifested in new ways all around us. As a promise that I cherish from Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy assures us, “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. vii).

We don’t need to expect joy or harmony to be less present at one time than another. All the good there could ever be – infinite good – is now! Even where longing or discouragement seems to be, we can look for new expressions of God’s goodness right at hand, bringing joy, love, peace, and inspiration.

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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.