Renewal for the whole earth

What will it take for the renewal that really secures a healthy environment? 

Originally published online on June 9, 2022

New strength and health for our lives and our environment is a project for us all. In college, I got a taste of this while working with fellow students to start a recycling program. Later, I got further involved while working with engineers around the world on environmentally friendly home appliances. Today, I’m giving much thought to an improvement that’s more basic: What will it take for the renewal that really secures a healthy environment? 

The answer begins with something that happens individually—something that, if we can commit to it, will bring about a grand change collectively. It’s a renewal that’s essentially in thought and fundamentally spiritual. More God-inspired thinking does so much good. It brings about positive changes in everything. 

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The first thing that’s helpful to understand is that we are not, as we seem to be, living in a material universe or experiencing conditions outside of consciousness. The universe is actually a mental concept, and our experiences are products of the way we think and live. Human experience is a kind of canvas in front of us, and the more of God’s qualities we see and express, the better things turn out. Consequently, improvement for our lives moves in tandem with inspired thought and prayer. I’m talking about a spiritual renewal that has a tangible effect on our bodies and our environment.

The origin of man is divine, infinite Spirit—God. The qualities of God, such as intelligence, joy, strength, health, and harmony, are the building blocks of our identity and purpose. By claiming and living these attributes as our real selfhood, we color the universe with them. And right now we’re particularly needing to employ these qualities in working together harmoniously and intelligently with the environment. Maybe a Bible example would help here.

When a storm threatened to overwhelm Jesus and his disciples in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus “arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). It’s something of this harmonizing effect that we can all expect to bring to our environment. 

Spiritualization of thought results in better conditions in our collective atmosphere.

Jesus displayed a spiritual strength and love that were the manifestation of God in him, called Christ. This Christly character is there to find in each of us as well, and Jesus came to teach us how to demonstrate it in our lives. As Hebrews 3:14 says, “We continue to share in all that Christ has for us” (J.B. Phillips, The New Testament in Modern English).

Jesus understood that our creator and source is God, infinite Spirit or Mind. Turning our thought to the divine Mind renews our spiritual perspective on our lives and the environment. Prayer awakens us to our holy calling as witnesses to the enduring intelligence and goodness of Mind, and our continual efforts to express Mind’s qualities in thought and action replenish what needs replenishing.

A few years ago, I began to have troubles with various joints. I would cut short or skip jogging because of pain in an ankle, hip, or knee. I saw this as a need for spiritual renewal. Because our bodies, our world, and our environment are all expressions of consciousness, they respond to spiritual inspiration that is always available from God. 

Following much prayer, including a renewed consideration of what God is continually bringing out in us, such as wholeness and indestructibility, I’ve been running strong again. It’s now been over a year since I’ve had any aches. This was a rejuvenation of thought that resulted in a rejuvenation of the body, and that’s what is needed over and over in our world.

Humanity’s fresh thinking has led to great invention, to new and better ways to do and take care of many things. But divine inspiration does more than that. Just as a deeper awareness of being the reflection of God and living God’s qualities brought healing to my body—as well as a more settled environment for Jesus and his disciples—spiritualization of thought results in better conditions in our collective atmosphere. Through prayer, the purification and spiritual invigoration of thought spreads throughout our experience, even to the needs of the planet. This helps us establish and maintain a right relationship with the environment. 

As we continue to bring unselfish qualities of purity, justice, and love to consciousness, we become good stewards of the earth. 

Like Jesus, as we continue to bring unselfish qualities of purity, justice, and love to consciousness, we become good stewards of the earth and are blessed in return. Jesus proved that there’s really no limit to the good that can unfold, because we are in what is actually a spiritual, God-based experience.

The key to a healthy and stable world is to keep spiritualizing our focus and looking to God as the source of all good rather than seeking to get more and more from an apparently material environment. With God’s guidance, we’ll take more conscientious care of the earth and make wiser use of resources, and so find release from the ruinous cycle of polluting and depleting the environment and then being victimized by it. 

Our response to any difficulty, whether it be disease, drought, fire, or flood, is to get a clearer understanding of God and His loving care for all of creation. Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine ‘powers that be’ ” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 249). 

We are in God’s universe, and our role is to witness God’s never-ending unfoldment of good. Spiritual renewal starts mentally and individually, and with each of us doing our part, we can collectively find ways to rehabilitate our environment—for our individual lives and communities and for the whole earth.

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