Investing in the ‘treasures of heaven’

A recent Christian Science Bible Lesson reminded me of some important things I learned as a young adult embarking on the study of Christian Science. The subject of the Lesson was “Substance,” and the Golden Text opened with Jesus’ counsel “Seek ye the kingdom of God; . . . . For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:31, 34). The Responsive Reading followed with the story of Solomon, who pleased God by asking Him for wisdom and knowledge rather than immediate, worldly pleasures like riches and status. God rewarded Solomon for his motive, not only with the wisdom and knowledge he asked for but also with an abundance of human good (see II Chron. 1). 

These Bible passages spoke to the challenges and triumphs I experienced as a college student stepping out from the crowd to become a Christian Scientist. Though I was brought up in a relatively religious household, when I first got to college, my church attendance and interest in religion faded. I didn’t think a faith in God would make all that much difference in my life. This mind-set sufficed for the first few years, with my college experience centered mainly on friends, parties, and lower-level curriculum. But in the later years, as I started taking upper-division courses with the prospects of a real-world career on the horizon, this attitude started to tear at the seams. I was deeply worried about getting good enough grades to land a successful job after school, and no amount of partying or self-reliance seemed to assuage my fears. I recognized that these feelings were working against me, as the more I worried about my school work, the less competent I was as a student. I needed to let go of my fear to free up my capacity to learn, and I was seeking something that would enable that.

It was around that time when my girlfriend gave me a copy of Science and Health. I knew nothing of Christian Science at that point, but I was immediately drawn to the book’s teachings once I started reading it. The idea that life is inherently spiritual, not material, resonated with me, and in those initial days of reading I remember asking myself, “Where has this been all my life?” 

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Church Alive
Honoring distinctiveness
June 27, 2011

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