Discoveries that heal – wherever we are

A backpacking trip brought today’s contributor to a stunningly beautiful clear blue mountain lake, but even more awesome were the new views of God that she experienced during that challenging hike in the mountains.

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At this time of year where I live, people are looking forward to the outdoor activities that summertime offers – road-tripping to the mountains with friends, a family vacation at the seashore, or simply the freedom to explore a new part of town on a nice afternoon. There’s no question that getting out and about can bring fresh discoveries that enrich and inform.

But while we’re at it, why not make spiritual discoveries along the way? Traveling, whether near or far, can afford some precious space to reflect or to be grateful for the good in our lives, which is one way I love to pray. I find such moments of inner discovery to be the most beneficial part of any adventure.

One time when I was in the mountains backpacking, I came to one of the most gorgeous places I’d ever seen: a clear blue mountain lake with snowcapped peaks in the distance. But being there took on an even deeper meaning for me, because on the way I had faced and overcome a significant challenge. Halfway up the trail I had felt overcome by severe symptoms of altitude sickness. I didn’t think I could go on, but we were too far into the wilderness to turn back.

At that moment, I made a spiritual discovery. I humbly reached out to God, divine Love, for inspiration – something I’ve found helpful many times – and as I did, an inspiring idea I had been learning in Christian Science became clearer to me than ever before: That we each have an unbreakable relation to God, divine Spirit. As I sat on the ground praying, I began to glimpse that my true identity, inherited from God, is completely spiritual – and therefore, matter, which is Spirit’s opposite, did not truly define me.

I felt my sense of fear melt away, and as it did, so did the physical symptoms. I was able to continue on the path with great joy and freedom. It was still a tough climb, but I felt God’s presence, giving me strength.

My arrival at the final destination of the trail, where I was greeted by the crystal turquoise lake mirroring the sunny peaks above, was the crown of my rejoicing. I felt so close to God and grateful for His love. I certainly felt I was seeing a new view beyond just the physical beauty! I had made a spiritual discovery. It helped me see more clearly from that day forward that all of us – whether we are on mountaintops, venturing across seas, or sitting quietly in our own homes – are God’s beloved children. Each of us is always encompassed by the protection and wisdom of our Father-Mother, the one divine Spirit. Even in the middle of trying circumstances, divine Spirit can lift our thought to a keener awareness of spiritual reality, which Christ Jesus termed the kingdom of heaven “within you” (Luke 17:21, King James Version).

The Bible, with its many promises that God is ever present, assures us: “Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?… If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast” (Psalms 139:7, 9, 10, New Revised Standard Version).

Whether we’re traveling to another part of the world or sticking closer to home, we can find moments of inspiration, spiritual peace, holy comfort, and healing right at hand. We truly are the loved of divine Love. That’s a discovery that brings healing and endures in our hearts forever.

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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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