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Cycles and seasons—or the continuity of good?

From the January 4, 2016 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Lately, I’ve become aware of how a kind of “seasonal” mentality pushes into many areas of our lives—such as health, housing, jobs, and family life—that frequently seem driven by cycles and dates on the calendar, with some seasons apparently favorable and others detrimental. 

How can we break free from these suggestions that health, success, even our moods, may be determined by seasonal fluctuations? I’ve found that starting and staying with the fact that God’s all-power is infinite and eternal, never subject to variation, spiritualizes my thinking and steadies my experience.

God is the one divine Principle, Love, so His tender care as our Father-Mother is infinite. This law of Love assures us of the always-available presence of God-given health, prosperity, and joy. In spiritual reality, man is never susceptible to disease or harm. These words in Scripture, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II Timothy 4:2), are relevant and immediate today. And as we put them into practice, we can be ready to meet and defeat the suggestions of physical illness as well as lack, loneliness, depression, or other maladies that are often tied to different seasons of the year.

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “It is profane to fancy that the perfume of clover and the breath of new-mown hay can cause glandular inflammation, sneezing, and nasal pangs.… 

“Damp atmosphere and freezing snow empurpled the plump cheeks of our ancestors, but they never indulged in the refinement of inflamed bronchial tubes” (p. 175). God’s goodness and our reflection of that goodness are absolute, not contingent on material circumstance or season. 

In spiritual reality, man is never susceptible to disease or harm.

Mrs. Eddy also writes, “The periods of spiritual ascension are the days and seasons of Mind’s creation, in which beauty, sublimity, purity, and holiness—yea, the divine nature—appear in man and the universe never to disappear” (Science and Health, p. 509). As we better understand man’s true, whole, spiritual identity, we find that our perception of these “periods of spiritual ascension” replaces the mental dread of what harm certain times of the year may bring. This advancing spiritual understanding leads to finding more than just partial or temporary relief from ills or other worries associated with seasons. It means actually experiencing, more and more, permanent release from any belief that God’s presence and power can be diminished (or absent) at any time.

For example, as we recognize that God, good, is unchanging Principle, it becomes natural to depend on Him, rather than on some “advantageous” season, in our business endeavors. As we do, we see more and more the uninterrupted nature of right activity evidenced in business and the economy. Because we are the spiritual men and women of God’s creating, we have the ability, now, to demonstrate this and get off the roller coaster of fear and doubt, and understand that eternal good—not evil, or disease, or lack of supply—is normal. 

For those grappling with loneliness or depression, holiday seasons can bring unwelcome discomfort and sadness. But here, too, we can gently yet assuredly affirm that God could not create any cruel, lonely scenario for His beloved children. Divine Love’s comfort, closeness, and tenderness are never absent from anyone, even for a moment—let alone a season! 

God’s love fills all space, and this truth is far more than just soothing words; it’s a healing, comforting, demonstrable fact. Christ Jesus assured his disciples (and us), “Your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you” (John 16:22). Nothing can rob you or me of divine, ever-present good—including the right to health, happiness, and home. Understanding our perpetual oneness with divine Love enables us to reject recurring suggestions that evil can harm us.

When our first daughter was a toddler, my wife and I found ourselves having to make the difficult and, we felt, untimely decision of moving out of the home we’d thought would be ours for a long time to come. The arguments against the timing of this move surfaced aggressively: Certain times of the year are generally thought to be better for buying and selling houses, and it was late autumn; we were heading into the cold, snowy winter season in Wisconsin. Also, our financial picture was uncertain (we’d gone deeply into debt remodeling our current house), and it wasn’t clear how soon we’d be free of that debt. As we considered all these factors, this very aggressive suggestion shouted at us: It’s not a good time to be house hunting and moving!

The law of God’s grace is universal, impartial, and always “in season.”

As my wife and I reached out in prayer to God, several inspiring, healing truths came to us, including the realization that we are, in reality, always in our home, because we abide in our heavenly Father-Mother and are inseparable from His-Her loving care. We found a wonderful Bible truth to pray with: “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations” (Psalms 90:1). This helped us realize that since God is omnipotent, His power must be the only power, and since He is Love itself, infinite and real, then the fearful picture of displacement and uncertainty must be unreal, no part of spiritual reality. Also, we came to understand that as the reflection of divine Love, and therefore the recipient of Love’s goodness, each of us is held and housed eternally, not cyclically, in the permanent, fully furnished spiritual universe of His loving grace and provision.

We didn’t find a home immediately, but our search did lead us to rediscover, for example, the Apostle Paul’s unshakable conviction that the holy touch of divinity is available to everyone through Christ. We took to heart Paul’s promise to the Christians at Philippi: “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). As we house hunted throughout the cold winter season, we experienced no so-called “seasonal” sickness. Whenever we felt stressed or discouraged, we kept reminding ourselves that at its core, this experience was less a search for a house, and more about embracing the spiritual fact that our security and place are always established in divine Love’s care.

Then a few months later, at the end of a very cold winter day and after we had seen several homes that were not right for us, our real estate agent told us of a home that hadn’t yet been listed for sale, but was available. The moment we walked in to look at it, we knew that our prayers had been answered. The house met all our needs, and the details of the purchase and move fell into place. And a short time after our move, we joyfully welcomed our second daughter into the family. The move also brought complete resolution of the debt situation.

Christian Science shows that the law of God’s grace is universal, impartial, and always “in season.” Through our perception of this law’s perfect government of the universe, the notion that earthly cycles and seasons can influence us is seen to be a false belief. As we understand this, we increasingly discover our full dominion over the many flawed, materially based assumptions that go along with “seasonal” thinking. 

God’s love and truth are ours to demonstrate 365 days of the year. Whatever is spiritually good is true for all, and it is true in every season.

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