A friend and I were touring one of London’s beautiful centuries-old cathedrals when an announcement came over the intercom: “Would everyone please join together in a moment of silent prayer, followed by saying aloud the Lord’s Prayer? Feel free to say the words in your language.”
As I closed my eyes to pray, I felt such a sense of unity – not only with those around me, but with the countless generations who had prayed in that cathedral across the centuries. Perhaps they, too, had experienced the healing power behind the Lord’s Prayer! I imagined we shared a deep love and respect for God and a desire to feel God’s profound love.
Above all, I remember being struck with a sense of the timelessness and agelessness of God – of His Word, His truth, and His love.
My thoughts went a step further. I reasoned that if God is ageless, then so are we as God’s children. The Bible tells us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1, 3). And the first chapter of Genesis explains that we are made in God’s image, “very good.”
There’s great value in recognizing this as our true, spiritual identity. I had a chance to put these ageless ideas into practice this past winter. The family was sledding in our backyard. My son insisted that I try some sort of “trick.” I did. But it wasn’t pretty! Partway down I fell headfirst into the snow.
It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but the next day I couldn’t bend one of my knees – not even a little. It was extremely painful to walk and sometimes to even stand.
One of the many things that ran through my head was that recovery might be hampered by my age. Not wanting to be controlled by fearful thoughts, I quickly turned to God in prayer.
The first idea that came to me was a phrase from “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science: “… joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy” (p. 304). This helped me realize that joy is a spiritual quality; its source is God, who is infinite Life. Divine joy could not be overturned because there is no legitimate power besides God. It seemed inconceivable to me that such a love-filled activity as sledding with my son could somehow turn painful.
The Lord’s Prayer also came to thought, reminding me of the timelessness of God’s healing power and love for me, my son, my family, and all. And I knew there are beautiful references in the Bible that convey the agelessness of God’s spiritual offspring. For instance: “Thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning” (Job 11:17), and “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Science and Health also has a lot of helpful ideas on the subject. One of my favorite lines is this: “Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand. Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness” (p. 246).
These are not just nice thoughts, but rather concrete promises of the constancy of God’s care, which upholds the continuity of vitality and goodness throughout His creation – through eternity. These promises brought me peace and gratitude for God’s endless love, and they proved true in this experience. When the start of ski season arrived some time later, I was going down the trail like a pro, completely free!
We can stand up to the notion that age determines our vulnerability. Our health, our vitality, our joy, are God-dependent. God’s Word, God’s children, and God’s love for us as His children, are ageless – and we can experience this, step by step, in our lives.
Editor’s note: As a public service, all the Monitor’s coronavirus coverage is free, including articles from this column. There’s also a special free section of JSH-Online.com on a healing response to the coronavirus. There is no paywall for any of this coverage.