My plane had left the gate and was taxiing to the runway, passing row after row of other jetliners preparing for takeoff. Looking out the window, I was impressed by their massive engines and wingspans. I couldn’t help but think of the Wright Brothers’ first engine-powered flight on Dec. 17, 1903. The record-setting flight that day lasted a mere 59 seconds – but it opened the door to the amazing future of human flight.
The Wright Brothers held steadfastly to a vision of what was possible. As this new year begins, perhaps that can inspire each of us to ask what kind of vision we can hold to that will best promote progress and spiritual growth.
For me, the vision begins with another flight image, a verse from the Bible, speaking of God’s protective guidance: “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him” (Deuteronomy 32:11, 12). This speaks to me of the strong, mothering power and presence of divine Love, our divine Parent. “God is love,” wrote St. John, one of Christ Jesus’ disciples (I John 4:8).
As the spiritual offspring of Love (see Psalms 100:3), we each have a substantial, intact, precious relation to our Father- Mother. A heartfelt desire to become more aware of God’s provision and care for His children, of Love’s ever-presence, can serve as a spiritual vision that moves us forward. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, writes, “A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 128).
At one point I felt hindered by a sense of melancholy because I couldn’t be with my family as much as I used to. I prayed to open my thought more consistently to God’s ever-present love, to see that as God’s image, we can’t be separated from His goodness. As I prayed, the intense sadness left, and it has never returned. My sense of family expanded to include others I care deeply about and who have blessed me as well. This has enabled me to move forward with joy, to “soar” and grow in new ways.
Christ Jesus kept uppermost in thought the vision of man’s blessed unity with God. This consciousness of spiritual reality lifted him to mastery over sickness, sin, and even death. If we look at the year ahead and the way seems uncertain or burdensome, we can seek a more spiritual view. Through prayer, we can begin to feel our Father-Mother’s all-embracing, protecting care. Man (meaning everyone) in God’s image actually reflects unlimited possibilities, since God is infinite. Science and Health states, “God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis” (p. 258). Holding steadfastly to this true view of ourselves and of God can help us to soar in 2017 and beyond.