No more ‘here we go again’ moments
About a year ago, I had one of those “oh no, here we go again” experiences. I had a plumbing problem on my hands. I needed to replace the kitchen faucet. But because in the past I’d had difficulty with this type of work as a result of corrosion freezing the nuts onto the bolts, my first thought was to anticipate problems. And indeed, as I began work on this new project, I was finding the same problem I’d run into before: the nuts were frozen onto the bolts. The project seemed daunting.
However, as I was working under my sink, I was reminded of the biblical account of how Paul (who, as Saul, had persecuted and brought about the murder of Jews who followed Christ Jesus) was shown his true, Godlike nature, and how this revelation profoundly changed him (see Acts 9:1–20). Then, at one point in his travels following his conversion, Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake (see Acts 28:3–5), and observers speculated, “No doubt this man is a murderer,” believing he was being punished because of his past.
I didn’t need to be tempted by old thoughts about anything.
Of course, Paul knew better than anyone that his human history included murderous intent and action toward people whose only “crime” was to depart from a more traditional way of worshiping God. But he had a choice to make in that moment. He could associate with this old selfhood and condemn himself—perhaps thinking he deserved to die. Or, knowing well that he was a changed man, he could do what he did, which was to reject that old selfhood—and shake off the viper. The result was that he “felt no harm.”
I realized that although my situation was very modest compared to Paul’s, it was similar in this way: Just as the transformed Paul couldn’t be punished for past mistakes because he was a new man, I could not suffer dread related to past struggles with this type of project because I was not the same person I had been when I last tried to replace that faucet. Over the years since then, I’d gained many spiritual insights and new ideas through my study and practice of Christian Science. I was in a new and more inspiring profession devoted to helping and healing others, and I had a whole new outlook on life. In short, I had been wonderfully renewed by my growing understanding and expression of God, so I didn’t need to be tempted by old thoughts about anything, especially about nuts and bolts. Instantly the plumbing repair situation changed. The bolts I needed to remove came off easily, and the rest of the job was finished within fifteen minutes.
That faucet still works beautifully today, which is wonderful, but this is of secondary importance to my having gained a clearer glimpse of spiritual reality. I’m so grateful to have seen how we can all feel renewed by Spirit, God, and see the practical, transformative results of this renewal in our daily lives. Having put on “the new man,” described in Ephesians as “created in righteousness and true holiness” (4:24), we can never go back to the old.
Progress is the outcome of God’s omnipotent and omnipresent law, and nothing can reverse that divine decree. By understanding that we live in the kingdom of heaven—the present reality of God’s harmonious government—we are made new every moment. Thus we are always at the point of opportunity to think in a more uplifted way than we did the moment before—to do better and to feel better. When we are putting on the new man moment by moment, there is never a need to think or say, “Oh no, here we go again,” because we are approaching every challenge from a higher consciousness and expecting better results.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “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” (p. 249). What an abundance of new blessings comes from doing just that!