The Beginning Times

Had an interesting exchange with a man at the supermarket today. I was sitting on a bench, waiting for my husband, and a man came up and asked if he could join me. I said, “Absolutely! Have a seat!”

He talked about the rain. And then he said something about the mess the world is in. And THEN he said, “I’m a Christian and we believe the world is in the end times.”

I smiled at him and nodded. “I’m a Christian Scientist and we believe we should heal it,” I said.

And then my husband appeared. I smiled back at the nice man on the bench and went to join my spouse.

The End.

Or… The Beginning.

***

“There are people praying for the world to end. We don’t want to destroy the world – we want to heal it.”
– Harvey Wood (his words as remembered by me)

(Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

moonrise over baker maybe this one also 2 really

“On the Brink of Mass Extinction”

A loved one had an article entitled “On the Brink of Mass Extinction” on his Facebook wall this morning. I clicked and skimmed. The article was a warning that we are all going to die if we don’t change our ways and immediately. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what habits the article said we need to change – at this point anyone who’s inclined to be informed about the state of the world and has access to the internet, is informed. So I’d rather take a different tack this morning, if that’s alright with you. Well. And even if it isn’t, because this is, like, my blog and I can write about pretty much whatever I want, right?

It seems to me that a sense of limitation and lack rules our earthly affairs. Those of us who take our responsibilities as human beings seriously have tried to “live within our earthly budget” – we’ve been mindful about over-populating and over-consuming; we’ve turned off the lights and turned off the water; we’ve recycled, re-used, and reduced; we’ve donated money to environmental causes, animal causes, and causes that promise to quell disease, destruction, and poverty. We’ve taken whatever human footsteps we felt we needed to take. And that is all good and right – it is our expression of Love – of caring and kindness, of generosity and integrity, of sharing the earth with our fellow creatures.

But I think it’s time to let go of the fear – not the caring and kindness – but the fear. The fear of limitation. The fear of running out of good. The fear of mass extinction.

I believe that love, Mind, God, is infinite and unlimited. I believe we should never put a limit on intelligence, or the possibilities of what intelligence can create, accomplish, and perform. Nor, I believe, should we ever put a limit on the power of love – what kindness and generosity can accomplish; or limit the power of Life. Sitting from where we are in 2014 I don’t think it’s possible for us to know what innovations and inventions might be created in the future that will open up new resources for humanity, or where we may find ourselves in even 20 years.

And spending all our days in tight-fisted fear is no way to live a life anyway, is it? Maybe it’s time to unclench our teeth and unfist our hands and open ourselves up to all the infinite good – the joy and love and hope and beauty – that’s always surrounding us. Yes, we can still do all those things that it seems right for us to do – curb our consuming, recycle, reduce, and reuse – but wouldn’t it be awesome if we all did those things in a spirit of love for our fellow creatures, rather than in fear of mass extinction?

Okay. I guess that’s pretty much all I have to say about mass extinction at this time. May you all find peace and joy in your day, may you reduce, recycle, and reuse, and may Love guide you in all your ways. Amen.

And here’s a picture of Mount Rainier, just because… 🙂

Mt. Rainier in sunset

photo of Mount Rainier by Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

 

*Seeking a Friend for the End of the World*

My new favorite apocalypse movie is not your typical apocalypse movie.  It does not have the special effects of The Day After Tomorrow, the pyrotechnics of 2012, or the cool walking dead of Zombieland.  There are no earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, or tornadoes.  There’s no frantic panicked rushing around trying to get to some kind of ark or spaceship or underground hidey hole, and at the beginning of the movie we learn that the last ditch attempt of hero-astronauts to stop the asteroid from colliding with earth failed.  But Seeking a Friend for the End of the World has something else going for it…

This movie is about what might happen to  those of us without political connections, or astronaut training, or the hope of being chosen to colonize Mars – should science, technology, and last-minute heroics fail us. What would we do if we knew we only had three weeks until oblivion? How would we use our time? Seeking a Friend for the End of the World takes the approach that  some of us would use those last weeks of life to have meaningless sex, escape into boozy oblivion, and party like there’s no tomorrow.  And some of us would spend those last weeks opening up to, and accepting, the love in our lives.

I know this is going to sound weird – considering that this is an end-of-the-world movie – but it gave me hope.  It made me laugh. It reinforced, for me, what is important in this world – no matter when it might  appear to come to an end.

Love will finally mark the hour of harmony, and spiritualization will follow, for Love is Spirit. ” – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

“…and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.“-  I Kings 19

http://www.youtube.com/movie?v=0tc-kMSnHk4&feature=mv_sr

What will happen on December 21st?

“The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, ‘as when a lion roareth.’  It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear.”  – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

Five years ago, on a discussion forum, I learned for the first time about the belief that the world will end on December 21st.  Someone asked “What will happen in 2012?”

I gave the question some thought, and then answered, “Seriously then? I think mankind is at a crossroads here. We can choose which direction we want to head – towards an Apocalypse (which I swear some people actually seem to be praying for) or away from one. My dad was talking with some friends, once – great, cynical old farts – and one of them said something like, ‘The meek will inherit the earth – sure – because nobody else will want it by the time everybody else is done with it.’ I thought that was funny, and really, really sad, too.  I think we’re at a place in our history where mankind has to learn some lessons, and learn them really fast. The first thing we have to learn is to be kind to our environment. But we need to learn to be kind to each other, too – no matter what beliefs or non-beliefs we each have. We’ve got to give up that whole ‘eye for an eye’ mentality – learn forgiveness, and generosity. I have hope for us. I think there’s a movement of good in the world. I believe Good (Love, Truth) will win in the end.”

I think the world manifests what’s going on in the collective “thought” of mankind. I believe a lack of appreciation for God’s beautiful creation – choosing an accumulation of material “Things” (money and personal possessions) over the expressions of Spirit (the beauty of a clean and healthy environment) is causing mankind some problems.And  I believe if  mankind is full of fear – if people come to expect doom in our future – then doom might be what they see manifested.

A friend of mine was telling me about this book – The Hundredth Monkey – that talks about how this group of monkeys started doing something different in their community and – without ever going to another monkey community – other monkeys in other communities started doing the same thing. It was like the idea, or the thought, was contagious – even without any physical connection between these animals. Anyway, I think thoughts can be contagious – and I think good thoughts can be contagious, too – and if mankind comes to expect good, good will happen.

I believe that if we really want to help our world, we need to stop living in fear. Stop being afraid of each other. Stop being afraid of what the future holds for us.  We need to fill our mental atmosphere with love, joy, and hope – with heaven.  In the book of Luke in the Bible, we read: “And when he (Jesus) was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, 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.” And in II Corinthians, Paul says: “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

I don’t think the world has to end, or we have to die, to experience heaven and salvation.  Jesus said the kingdom of God is within us – in our thoughts. If our thoughts are full of hope, joy, and love we’re in heaven right now. Likewise, if our thoughts are full of hate, fear, and anger we’re experiencing hell right here, and right now. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy has this to say about “Heaven”: “Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind…” and she defines “Heaven” as “Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle’; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul.”

What does our future hold? Good. Our future holds Good.   Nothing can destroy Love or Truth – God – we will always have Good in our future. Count on it. 🙂

Buck up, my friends! It is our duty – maybe the greatest thing we can do for our world – to  stop being afraid. We need to be alert, yes. We need to be aware and we need to be wise.  And we  really need to stop being afraid.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.  – Isaiah 41: 9-11

“Christian scientific practice begins with Christ’s keynote of harmony, ‘Be not afraid!'” – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy