A new way to start your day

The transition to a new year often represents freshness, renewal, progress toward goals. But these don’t need to be confined to the changing of a calendar. Through prayer, we can find in God a continual source of freshness and newness, bringing right ideas each and every day.

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New Year’s can bring enthusiasm for new beginnings, starting fresh, taking stock of progress, and embarking on goals. This is great, but it doesn’t have to be confined to the changing of the calendar. We can find inspiration, freshness, and progress throughout the year.

For a long time, my best version of the morning was sleeping as long as possible, grabbing a cup of coffee, and getting on the road to school or work. But then I took a course in Christian Science healing, where I learned new things about God and the relation we all have to God. I began to wake up enthusiastically, wanting to discover through prayer more about my true, spiritual identity as the child of God. I would rise earlier than needed so I had time to pray before starting my day.

To me, this special time to pray each morning has been one of the greatest gifts. Each time is different; it’s about listening for the way God is revealing Himself to me each day.

And what I found was that an honest desire to learn more about the nature of God and our inseparable unity with the Divine brings inspiration that lights our way. We discover more of God, the divine Spirit, as the infinite source of goodness, joy, and productivity. We feel the love of our heavenly Father-Mother wrapping us up in comfort and safety. We come to realize that God, our Shepherd, the one true Mind, is ever present to lead and guide us with ideas that renew us and bring solutions to challenges that may arise throughout the day.

The inspiration I’ve gained from God, divine Life and Truth itself, during these mornings has given me such peace, confidence, and joyful expectancy that it’s totally changed my outlook for the day. It’s also brought healing of illness and injury, and resolution to problems. And my dependency on caffeine, which I’d felt was a necessary part of my waking-up and energizing process, naturally fell away, replaced by a deeper, spiritual renewal and energy that brought greater freedom than my morning cup did.

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, writes a lot about how recognizing our relation to God, divine Mind, enables us to surpass limitations and make meaningful progress. Mrs. Eddy turned to God constantly throughout the day. She found in God physical healing, guidance in decision-making, and renewed energy. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she wrote: “The human mind, imbued with this spiritual understanding, becomes more elastic, is capable of greater endurance, escapes somewhat from itself, and requires less repose. A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms. It raises the thinker into his native air of insight and perspicacity” (p. 128).

Through the prayer that brings to light such spiritual understanding, we can find in God a continuous source of freshness, newness, and right ideas. This can inspire real change in our lives and in the world around us because it changes the way we think. The book of Romans in the Bible says: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (12:2, New Living Translation).

We can let daily inspiration and prayer be a New Year’s goal that we stick with and a foundation for impelling progress that will endure throughout the year!

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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.

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