The reset button is now

The start of a new year is often seen as an opportunity to commit to new initiatives, fresh starts, and improvements in character. But we don’t need to let the calendar define our potential for progress. At every moment we can welcome inspiration from God that brings reformation and healing.

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Presidential candidates often use the phrase “Day One,” along the lines of “On Day One I will be ready to take the helm and get such-and-such done.” Recently, hearing that phrase spurred me to think about beginnings and fresh starts.

In some ways the start of a new year is a Day One for all of us, an opportunity to commit to new initiatives, progress, and improvements in character. But what if we lifted freshness and growth out of a calendar framework and instead thought of them as obtainable any day of the year?

In a glossary that gives a spiritual sense of Bible terms, Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, gives a definition of “day” that I’ve found illuminating. Using Life, Truth, Love, and Mind as synonyms for God to help describe His nature, she writes: “DAY. The irradiance of Life; light, the spiritual idea of Truth and Love. ...

“The objects of time and sense disappear in the illumination of spiritual understanding, and Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded. This unfolding is God’s day, and ‘there shall be no night there’” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 584).

This idea of “day” as the light of God shining forth eternally means we don’t have to wait for a particular time before we can have a fresh start. Instead we can always ask, “Where is my thought right this moment? Am I measuring my day by the good that is unfolding right now? Am I being conscious of God’s goodness, or am I ruminating and speculating on unhelpful things?”

At every moment we can welcome the good thoughts and inspiration God imparts to all of us, lifting us out of regret and fear of an unknown future. This brings true progress, reformation, and healing because it opens our eyes to God’s goodness here and now. The future of all of God’s spiritual offspring is secure in the timeless now of the Most High.

One January I was visiting friends in another part of the country when I awoke in the morning with a debilitating headache. I decided I would take a hot shower and then get back into bed to do some praying.

Prayer affirming the allness and goodness of God has been my lifelong approach to healing problems of all kinds. I have seen countless times how such prayer helps me discern how God sees His creation: as spiritual, perfect, and harmonious. The Bible portrays this place of uplifted thought as “the secret place of the most High,” safe and free from harm (Psalms 91:1). Harmony is the only outcome God can cause, and therefore the only experience that God’s creation can truly have. As we come to understand this, it brings out more harmony in our daily lives. Christ Jesus healed many individuals on this basis.

Suddenly I realized that there was a flaw in my shower/pray plan. I was confining progress to a particular timeline: first requiring a hot shower to relax me, then expecting my prayers to take some time, and situating myself in bed so I could rest more, too. And hoping these steps would enable me to shake this headache.

I thought, “Why not accept God as supreme right now?” God’s harmony is here right now, not dependent on a particular timetable. We have divine authority to accept and prove that spiritual reality in this and every moment. The reset button is now.

And that’s what I did. I felt God’s presence so clearly and got up from the bed. By the time I walked across the room, all the pain was gone.

It is not necessarily easy to pause and pray when we’re in pain or afraid, and it may take persistence in prayer to reach the healing or solutions we need. But it is so encouraging to know that the possibility for a fresh view of God’s harmony expressed throughout creation is here now.

Science and Health encourages: “Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, – neither in nor of matter, – and the body will then utter no complaints. If suffering from a belief in sickness, you will find yourself suddenly well” (p. 14). The opportunity to realize and feel our present unity with God, good, is available to us all not just on Day One, but at every moment!

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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