In the moment, here and now

Sometimes in life it can seem as if we’re endlessly looking ahead to the next finish line. There’s healing value in pausing to consider what it means that we are God’s children – right in the present moment. 

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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When I was playing on a sports team in college, we would sometimes be asked, as part of our training and conditioning, to run various distances. Sometimes it was a half mile. Sometimes two miles. Sometimes one mile. After a while, I noticed something interesting: No matter what the distance we were asked to run, it was always the last few hundred yards that felt the most exhausting.

Sometimes as I ran along, I would think deeply about things I’d learned through reading the Bible, along with an insightful book about prayer and healing called “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” For instance, in Science and Health, author Mary Baker Eddy counsels, “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” (p. 14).

That idea prompted me to think differently – not only about running, but about everything. It can be tempting to consider life as a long series of figurative finish lines to work toward. But for God, who is infinite Life, there are no “finish lines,” no time passing at all – just timeless, ever-present goodness and perfection.

This relates to us, too – as the offspring of divine Life, our being is complete right here and now. Rather than being fundamentally material, separate from God, our true identity is as God’s spiritual expression. This eternal, God-given nature is always fully intact. Realizing this to some degree helps us on the various journeys of daily life.

To illustrate this in a modest way, I had a most encouraging experience recently. I needed to cross a stream several times – a fast-moving, murky stream that flowed over rocks of all sizes. On one crossing, I injured my knee, and each step after that was painful.

I began praying, considering especially the idea that my genuine identity is God’s spiritual offspring. It was comforting to behold myself as God does: spiritual and whole, rather than mortal and damaged. But the pain continued, and I needed to cross the stream several more times to get home. Navigating along the rocky bottom was difficult.

I could have thought of my God-given, perfect spiritual identity as a finish line, believing it to be some sort of future state that I might someday attain. Instead, as I was crossing that stream once again, I realized the present and eternal nature of my (and everyone’s) identity as God’s spiritual creation. The substance of our real identity is intact and able to be felt in every moment.

What happened next will take time to relate, but it happened in an eyeblink. I was halfway across the deep, fast-moving water, getting this inspiring, prayerful glimpse of my true self, and suddenly the injury, along with the pain, utterly disappeared. I walked the rest of the way across the stream in freedom. This healing was permanent – in fact, less than a week later, I climbed one of my state’s tall mountains.

Since then, I’ve become more intentional about relishing the present spiritual treasures God has placed right here in front of us. As Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). It truly is a joy to “become conscious for a single moment” of the spiritual goodness that God continuously expresses in everyone.

The Bible encourages, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalms 118:24). We can rejoice in the very present and beautiful Spirit that’s expressing itself in us, rather than concentrating only on some future finish line, and discover – with healing effect – what we are today, in this moment, here and now.

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