Reposted from the May 16, 2016 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
Most of us would agree that the sight of new-fallen snow is something to behold. The pristine and fresh nature of it—white and beautiful, covering everything with a blanket of clean brightness—inspires.
The phrase “pure as the driven snow” goes hand-in-hand with the idea of newness. Mortal mind puts forth the concept that man has a material history that affects him throughout his life. In that context, the way one perceives one’s life would be dependent on that human history heaping up over time, in a cumulative manner. This could make one feel burdened with baggage of the past, tired, even cynical about one’s current situation or prospects for the future.
I’ve found that it’s so important, and freeing, to look at ourselves from the standpoint of spiritual reality—as being God’s idea, God’s spiritual child, in a perpetual state of newness, untouched and uncontaminated by any mortal beliefs. When we have the childlike trust and spiritual understanding that all really is well—that God is All and is governing and guiding, and that there is, in reality, no material history to keep us downtrodden or muddy our thoughts about ourselves—we can prove in practical ways that our life in God is as unlimited and forever new as divine Life and Love itself.
Realizing that we are that pure, fresh expression of pure and perfect Mind, we are more able to express freshness in everything that we think and do. We don’t need to feel like the hamster in a wheel, going around and around, stuck in a cycle of repeating past errors or thoughts. That is not our heritage! Divine Love certainly does not see us as worn-out material beings. In the Bible’s book of Revelation, chapter 21 verse 5, we read that John the Revelator heard the divine message, “Behold, I make all things new.” His vision of the New Jerusalem presented the new, correct view—the kingdom of heaven, including our true individuality, which is entirely spiritual, without any aspects of materiality or human history.
My husband and I have had many opportunities to prove these concepts about newness and freshness. For instance, several years ago my husband was denied tenure for political reasons that were not based on his job performance. It is the policy in the state where we live that once a teacher is denied tenure, he or she can no longer teach in that county. So the teacher’s position is terminated at the end of the school year. There was immediate outrage in the community because a handful of teachers, including my husband, had been singled out, and the feeling was that this was unjust.
During a meeting with lawyers, the teachers were informed that they could pursue legal action because of the nature of the decision made. Public protests took place as well, calling for the reinstatement of the teachers. At the end of the day, though, my husband still needed a job. He felt that it was important to move forward during that time and look for another teaching position.
As soon as he told me about the situation, I called a Christian Science practitioner for help. The practitioner’s first words to me were, “What a wonderful opportunity for you!” That comment instantly broke the mesmerism of the gloomy circumstances. Opportunity? Yes, this was a chance to see the freshness of what God had in store. The comment lifted my thought to see that God was already meeting our needs, because in reality we were never separate from Him and His goodness. Fear about the future dissipated, and we were both able to trust that Love would lead us in the right direction. That very day my husband had one job offered to him, and another soon followed.
Over the next few days and after much prayerful work, my husband decided not to pursue any legal action, because he strongly felt that he needed to be an example of grace to others instead of someone full of resentment and bitterness, rehearsing past injustices. He had been endeavoring to see that because something discordant was not from God, it could never touch him as a loved idea of Love.
During this time, it was just as important to keep my own thought purely on God, knowing that Truth was governing. I was working at the same school as he, and there were many conversations about the situation. Teacher morale had become quite low. It was crucial for me to keep my thought fresh and inspired, uncontaminated by human opinions about the situation. I had learned over the years, through my study of Christian Science, that what God knows about man’s true status is all I needed to know; human opinions couldn’t bring about healing.
The beauty of the demonstration was that every member of our family was blessed by our willingness to be obedient to divine Mind’s direction. My husband soon started teaching in a nearby county, where we eventually moved. He was also able to do more coaching in addition to his teaching. Our children were able to have new opportunities in this new area, and I was able to work full time in the public practice of Christian Science. When I later joined the branch Church of Christ, Scientist, in the area, it also met the church’s need to have a Christian Science practitioner.
I am very certain that our willingness to stay focused on God instead of allowing the human events to trample and muddy our thinking opened new doors for us in ways that we could not have humanly outlined and that not only blessed us but others as well.
Mrs. Eddy states in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:“Trials are proofs of God’s care. Spiritual development germinates not from seed sown in the soil of material hopes, but when these decay, Love propagates anew the higher joys of Spirit, which have no taint of earth. Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love” (p. 66).
I’m grateful to always be learning that as God’s image we are forever one with divine Life, Spirit, Mind. Through the understanding of this, we are able to be constantly supplied with pure, unlimited, fresh ideas, relevant to just what we need. We live in Spirit, untouched by materiality; therefore, nothing can cause us to be burdened or trapped by circumstances. God is the source of all good, and we are given all that God has to give. This truth also applies in the case of a belief of chronic illness. Science and Health says, “Immortal Mind feeds the body with supernal freshness and fairness, supplying it with beautiful images of thought and destroying the woes of sense which each day brings to a nearer tomb” (p. 248). The effect of refusing to take a limited, material view of ourselves not only provides us with a clearer understanding of our unchanging spiritual nature, it also restores the body to health.
Through our growing spiritual understanding, Love makes us “new,” and we are each able to demonstrate this perpetual action at work in our lives daily.