Searching for higher ground?

If frustration, discouragement, or fear threaten to overwhelm, we can open our hearts to God’s love, lighting the path to peace, joy, and healing.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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There may be areas of our lives – such as a job search, a relationship, or a physical problem – where the road ahead appears dark and dreary. Or maybe we’re feeling fatigued by ongoing pandemic-related restrictions or frustrated by the controversies making headlines. At times the “light at the end of the tunnel” can seem more like a tease than a reality.

I know in my own life, there have been those moments. But as I have prayed to God at those times, I’ve found that truly there can never be a moment when uplift, inspiration, and healing are not within reach. I’ve discovered that the key is for my thought to change. When I’m willing to let in divine light – seeking a fuller understanding of God’s presence and power – progress and healing come about.

Even if feelings of fear, helplessness, even self-pity seem like a thick mist, we can trust that they don’t have true staying power, because they are not God-derived. God is Love, according to the Bible – here, near, and everywhere. And this infinite Love dissolves whatever is unlike itself. Referring to divine Love, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote, “Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 454).

And just as one can climb up out of a mist-laden valley to higher, sunny ground, so we have the ability – through our God-given spiritual sense, or receptivity to God’s thoughts – to rise up out of the fog of fear, doubt, or frustration. Through prayer, we can acknowledge the actual, spiritual truth of being, where we find God, the one infinite Spirit, our divine Principle, completely in control – omnipotent. And we come to realize that our divine Father-Mother loves us unwaveringly and governs all through the unchanging law of spiritual good.

It may take much humility and persistence in our prayers to seek this higher ground. But Christ Jesus gave humanity this assurance: “I am with you alway” (Matthew 28:20). He was speaking of the Christ, his eternal, spiritual nature, which exists throughout all time to redeem and save. The light of Christ is always within our grasp. In fact, it is within us already. God has given us our true, eternal, Christlike nature even “before the world was” (John 17:5).

Jesus demonstrated the healing effects of this higher knowledge of everyone’s true nature as God’s image. He expected his followers also to claim their unity with the Divine – and to demonstrate it in lives healed and affections enriched. In my own life, experiences of physical problems healed, estranged relationships restored, and uncertainty about the future lifted have taught me that we’re all equipped to do this. (To read about one of these healing experiences, check out my article “Discoveries that heal – wherever we are,” CSMonitor.com, July 19, 2018.)

There isn’t anything that faces us today that can defeat us, steal our joy, or crush out our life purpose to express God, good, in increasing measure. We are made in God’s own image – the spiritual likeness of the eternally good nature of the Divine. We are here not to founder in tides of fear or frustration, but to advance to the higher ground of our God-bestowed spiritual freedom. And this change in thought has healing impact. As the Bible tells us, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

What we discover anew on those higher hills of spiritual inspiration leads us forward in peace and healing – God’s gifts, right at hand.

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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.