Journeying Heavenward

What constitutes the journey heavenward? Is it not made up of the daily and hourly correction of whatever is wrong in one's thinking? In the ordinary scholastic teaching, a footstep heavenward, or "one day nearer home" as we have commonly heard it expressed, usually brought to thought a state of existence known as the hereafter,—a condition to be experienced only after death. But not so does Christian Science teach. We hear expressions of profound gratitude from students of this latter teaching for having learned that they need no longer postpone heaven to some uncertain future date, but may even at this present time experience a large measure of it in more joyous, more perfect, more Godlike thinking and living. On page 291 of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, says, "Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind in which all the manifestations of Mind are harmonious and immortal, because sin is not there and man is found having no righteousness of his own, but in possession of 'the mind of the Lord,' as the Scripture says."

And is not this exactly in accord with our Master's statement to be found in the gospel of Luke, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you"? It is plain, then, that we are not journeying to a place; but by every righteous overcoming of whatever is unlike good in our thinking, we are nearing the realization of that peaceful consciousness or "mind of the Lord" wherein is found sure refuge and rest. One of the first steps we may all take in the attainment of this heaven within is to counteract all thoughts of bitterness, criticism, and suspicion with more kindly confidence, patience, and hopeful forbearance toward our fellow-men, refusing to harbor within our hearts any false accusations against our brothers. Who has not glimpsed somewhat of this heaven and experienced the resultant sense of peace when forgiving an enemy, or in thinking compassionately towards one who has sorely misjudged us? And again, what happiness has been ours when, in confidence and joy gained from our own triumphant experience, we are able, since "God is no respecter of persons," to reassure some fellow-traveler on this upward journey as to his sure reward for the honest effort we see he is making! Truly, the kingdom of God is within us,—within the possibility of every one's own realization and demonstration!

Under the marginal heading "Our footsteps heavenward," on page 426 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy, in speaking of her own experience, says, "The discoverer of Christian Science finds the path less difficult when she has the high goal always before her thoughts, than when she counts her footsteps in endeavoring to reach it." Why, indeed, do mortals take such complaining and mournful account of the number of footsteps required of them, when they may well be looked upon as but milestones in their pathway toward the promised haven of conquered sin? Surely this high goal is desirable enough of attainment to encourage one's most courageous and persistent effort.

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Steps Spiritward
September 13, 1924

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