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The 'futility of futurity'

From the July 9, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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At one time, I was at a low point in my day to day life and in my efforts to know God better. It seemed as though I had lost a sense of my closeness to God as His child. I would have moments of great comfort and inspiration, but then later in the day I would feel dragged down by the demands of my daily activities. This tepid mental state felt very unsettling. I longed for the genuine inspiration and mental clarity I usually enjoyed. I persisted in my prayers, and I soon found insights that lifted my heart. First, I recalled how a dear friend had once said that sometimes we think that anything good (health, abundance, freedom, joy) is pending—that the future holds something that seems lacking in the present. She called this kind of thinking “the futility of futurity.”

I began to see more clearly how futile it is to wait for what God has already provided and is always present. It’s like being given a beautiful gift but then refusing to open it and enjoy it. Right now, we are all receiving the gift of being God’s infinitely unique expression, and we can enjoy dwelling at the point of inspiration, health, happiness, peace, and perfection.

Mary Baker Eddy emphasizes this spiritual fact as she quotes Paul: “ ‘Now,’ cried the apostle, ‘is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,’—meaning, not that now men must prepare for a future-world salvation, or safety, but that now is the time in which to experience that salvation in spirit and in life. Now is the time for so-called material pains and material pleasures to pass away, for both are unreal, because impossible in Science. To break this earthly spell, mortals must get the true idea and divine Principle of all that really exists and governs the universe harmoniously” (Science and Health, p. 39).

The “true idea” is that the universe, which includes us all, is harmonious right now. I love Mrs. Eddy’s use of present tense verbs in her writings. They encourage us to accept the fact of God’s loving presence—right now.

I began to see more clearly how futile it is to wait for what God has already provided and is always present.

As I humbly acknowledged the infinite fullness and presence of God, and affirmed His present love and care for me and all mankind, I experienced a healing. Discouragement and lack, which had felt so real, dissolved in the realization that I was inseparable from our ever-present God, Love. I knew He was giving me a steady supply of ideas to meet my every need. The change in my thought and feelings was so quick that it was as if I had awakened from a dream.

Through this experience, I learned to be more grateful for the “nowness” of God. I learned that it is our ever-present, ever-active God, divine Mind, that keeps our thoughts always in alignment with Him. Nothing about me, as God’s presently perfect idea, needs changing, fixing, or reconnecting to the infinite that is God. I can’t be separated from the good that is always present. 

In accepting the notion that I was not inspired, I had unwittingly turned away from reality and had believed God, Spirit, to be absent and me to be an isolated mortal, separate from God. But this was always an impossibility and never a fact of being. 

The King of Love my Shepherd is, 
Whose goodness faileth never; 
I nothing lack, for I am His 
And He is mine forever.

. . . . . . .

And so through all the length of days 
Thy goodness faileth never; 
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise 
Within Thy house forever. 

Christian Science Hymnal, No. 330

Any fact about God’s nature is always true and provable. We don’t need to understand all the facts before acknowledging their truth. As we accept and embrace spiritual, metaphysical facts as scientifically and provably true, we can feel the presence of God, the divine Principle of these facts. The spiritual facts of existence, grounded in God, divine Principle, are the same truths that Jesus presented in his teachings and proved in His daily walk. These facts of our inseparable relationship with the ever-present, harmonious creator are true right now. Man, as God’s idea, embodies these facts—right now. Beliefs or suggestions that come to our thought that there is discord or lack yield in the light of these spiritual facts. Everything good finds its source in the all-present God, who is all good, so it is impossible that anything good is absent or waiting to exist in some future time.

We must humbly acknowledge the reality that God, good, is always present, and that negative or depressing thoughts and feelings from our emotions, our bodies, or the world at large (suggesting that God is sometimes absent) have no true substance. In the divine “now,” there are no past mortal events or history to haunt or impact our eternal closeness to God.

We dwell forever in the divine “now.” We don’t have to make spiritual facts true. Spiritual facts, like numbers and musical notes, just are. And God, the all-harmonious “I AM” (Exodus 3:14), just is. There is nothing to oppose this absolute fact—right now, and forever.

Joan Lazarus is a professor of theatre education. She lives in Austin, Texas.

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