The irrepressibility of life

Today’s column explores how an understanding of God as indestructible, eternal Life itself brings renewal.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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The devastation seemed total. Nothing but the black outlines of charred trees was visible for miles. A couple of months earlier, a wildfire had scorched acres of wilderness. But upon closer look, there was a tiny sprig of green oak leaves coming straight out of what looked like the completely lifeless remains of a huge oak tree. I’ve been greatly inspired by this idea of unquenchable life, right where life seemed absent.

The evidences of renewal we see in nature, such as this glorious new growth in the charred landscape, point to the divine reality of inextinguishable life. From my study of Christian Science, I’ve come to know God as eternal Life itself, and also to understand more clearly that the universe is truly spiritual, created by God, therefore animated and sustained by this self-existent, divine Life.

God’s creation flows out from this Life, and includes all it needs to sustain itself, as a passage from the Bible indicates: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so” (Genesis 1:11). Because its source is God, true, spiritual creation is indestructible, ever-renewing. When our prayers for restoration affirm this spiritual fact, we can trust in their effectiveness. As the “seed is in itself,” so the rejuvenating nature of Life can be seen and experienced.

This became evident to me a couple of years ago when my horse, Omar, had a serious accident at a large horse show. The show veterinarian was called and suspected a crushed vertebra, which meant Omar’s show career was over. He recommended further X-rays to determine how to proceed with the horse’s care.

As I prayed – something I usually do when facing a challenge of any kind – I saw more clearly that Omar’s purpose and life were actually spiritual, and therefore indestructible, irrepressible, unstoppable. They could not be cut short. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy explains, “We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things” (p. 129). My prayers affirmed that God’s wonderful, spiritual universe, complete and eternal, is the reality, and is always discernible because it’s all good. It is the exuberant expression of divine Life, which is an ongoing and uninterruptible unfolding. We can expect to see evidences of this spiritual fact, as in the green sprig emerging from the charred remains of the oak tree.

Four days later Omar was thoroughly examined by a local veterinarian. Much to the vet’s surprise, given what had happened at the show, there was no indication of any injury. Omar continued to compete and excel with no trace of the problem.

We can let the divine facts of the irrepressibility of eternal Life and its creation shine into and imbue our everyday experience with hope, confidence, and joy. This can bring rejuvenation, restoration, and renewal where it’s needed. We can rejoice that life truly is and always will be self-existent, inextinguishable!

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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.”

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