The road map to a life worth living

Following Jesus’ example of a life that mirrors the power and love of God brings healing, fulfillment, and freedom from the limitations that would dampen our lives.

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When our family was in the middle of a move, I noticed my husband had written a little note on his map of our new city. It said, “Make a life worth living.” The juxtaposition of the note and the road map, to me, was striking. Though the map provided directions to many locations that we’d no doubt find useful, it couldn’t give us directions leading to a worthwhile life.

Don’t we all desire a life rich with meaning, purpose, and satisfaction? While there’s no shortage of well-meaning advice on the subject of finding personal fulfillment, much of it centers on human will. But when you’ve already expended your best efforts to find fulfillment without gaining the desired results, this advice can be discouraging. A different kind of map is needed.

Nearly 2,000 years ago, God gave us such a road map in His Son, Christ Jesus. In an age that was grappling with issues not unlike the ones we face today, Jesus showed the world that the way to a better life was through a spiritual life centered in God. Jesus revealed God, Love, as the all-powerful, ever-active, unshakable, benevolent source that grounds our lives. Through his own life, he mapped out the richness of a life that mirrors the power and love of God.

The pure love Jesus lived was not merely the human love we see in one person being kind and helpful to another. It was the manifestation of a far deeper spiritual love for humankind. He perceived the reality of God’s children as spiritual, pure, and whole. This spiritual discernment enabled him to prove the allness and substance of spiritual existence, which brings freedom from the limitations that would dampen our lives.

Through his understanding of the infinitude of divine Love, Jesus mapped out the way for us to prove that all existence is actually spiritual, unlimited, created and sustained by infinite Love. He didn’t say the life he mapped out would be easy, but he showed us the value and fulfillment of this spiritual way of living. When we follow Jesus’ example, and realize through our prayers the all-power and all-presence of Love, we too can find healing and the true worth of our lives.

Prior to her discovery of the divine Science behind Jesus’ healings, Mary Baker Eddy, like many of us, had a heartfelt desire to experience a life worth living. She followed Christ Jesus in the way he mapped out insofar as she loved God and loved her neighbors generously. Like many sufferers, though, Mrs. Eddy’s consistently poor health led her on a journey down a few material byways looking for a cure. None gave her permanent relief.

Finally, she discovered the purely spiritual method of healing Jesus practiced. At a time of desperate need following an accident, Mrs. Eddy turned to her Bible, which she had been a thorough student of since childhood. Then she read a familiar account of one of Jesus’ healings and caught a glimpse of the truth that life is in Spirit, God, not in matter (see Mary Baker Eddy, “Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 24). This new understanding of the spiritual nature of existence healed her of the life-threatening injuries from that accident. It was a turning point. Mrs. Eddy knew she had found the way that Jesus’ lifework revealed.

Going forward, she devoted herself to an in-depth study of the Bible to gain a clearer understanding of what she had discovered, then proved the power of this newfound Science in healing others, and gave an explanation of it to the world. Through practicing the divine Science of healing she had discovered, she lived an energetic and highly productive life that overflowed with blessings for humanity.

Jesus counseled his disciples, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Through his own life he mapped out a way of living that is God-centered. And he promised that when we put spiritual considerations first, love God supremely, and love our neighbor as ourselves, our needs will be met.

This is the path that brings true fulfillment and satisfaction – and following it makes a life that is truly worth living.

Adapted from an editorial published in the Oct. 2019 issue of The Christian Science Journal.

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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.