The demand for change
History has shown the human mind to be riddled with contradictions: It wants change for the better – quicker, more convenient, less restrictive. Yet when changes come, it can be defiantly resistant; it can yearn for things to slow down, to not change the status quo, and especially to not change its way of thinking. What often happens is a clash of wills between individuals, society and industry, races and cultures, and nations.
For instance, while information, products, and communication have become instantly available for people today, the wisdom to deal with all of this is not so rapidly attained. And with that has come a proliferation of stress, a coming to the surface of previously hidden intolerance and hate, a rise in extremism, and a disturbing increase of mental illness and suicide.
All this can seem pretty bleak, but there’s a spiritual approach to life that I’m finding invaluable in dealing with these changes. Amazingly enough, it’s the timeless message of the Bible that holds the effective remedy for us in this fast-paced world. It reveals the unchanging nature of God as divine Truth, Life, and Love, and reveals that God has created us as His spiritual reflection, giving us the unlimited wisdom and ability we need each day. As we embrace this message openheartedly, one effect can be a shift in consciousness that enables us to adjust more naturally and rapidly to change.
Sometimes, though, we can feel resistant to change, but the Bible helps us with this, too. For example, the physical healings Christ Jesus performed and the regeneration of character he brought about awakened hope for many, but also resistance. Nicodemus, a religious leader at that time, was farsighted enough to explore beyond the resistance (see John 3:1-21). He recognized that Jesus could do the “miracles” he performed only because God was with him. So he sought Jesus in private one night to learn more of the power that brings such change.
Jesus told him he would have to be reborn. Nicodemus was puzzled by that, but Jesus was drawing his attention to the idea of being “reborn” of the Holy Spirit – made newly conscious of a spiritual sense of our existence. This regenerates and inspires us to live a spiritual life that glorifies God.
It’s no different today, and it is perhaps even more urgent than it was in Jesus’ time for us to yield to a spiritual rebirth. Through prayer, scriptural study, self-examination, and a deep love for God, we can truly experience a spiritual shift in thought that brings stability, health, and the ability to adjust to rapid changes in society without losing anything essential.
Christian Science clarified this for me as I learned more of God’s true nature, and of ours as God’s spiritual likeness. It’s therefore natural for our thought to open to new vistas of possibility. One breakthrough came for me when I realized that being a painfully slow reader since early childhood could not truly impede my progress, because God has given each of us unlimited abilities for our discovery and use. This teaching opened up a whole new path of learning and achievement for me that has given me many unsought opportunities to serve others – and to make whatever adjustments are required to move with these modern times.
As the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, explains, “The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind” (p. 162). This “change of base” takes us from identifying ourselves as confined by material conditions to the realization that we live in God, limitless Spirit. Yielding to God means yielding to the unlimited goodness, wisdom, and ability He has abundantly provided to all.
The effect of being stirred to this change from matter-based thinking to Spirit-based thinking is a loss of fear – of the unknown, of people who are different from us, and much more. It brings divine grace and harmony even when changes around us are swift or unexpected.
As you and I are willing to be reborn spiritually, God will tenderly guide us into the grace and wisdom to adjust to new ways of living.
Adapted from an editorial published in the June 17, 2019, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.