by Don Ingwerson
Renewal. Does it come naturally to you?
Or does your sense of renewal itself need renewing?
For instance, have you ever traveled down pathways you thought would lead to a sense of renewal and found only flimsy and superficial change as a result – by trying to promote self-renewal through engineering a “change of scene,” for example?
Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a change of scene. But how do you keep experiencing moments of renewal when instead of being permanent they seem to be fleeting and transitory?
My own sense of renewal was renewed when I learned that it is building on a deeper, spiritual foundation that galvanizes the reawakening and rediscovery process of true renewal.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me,” writes David in the book of Psalms, illustrating how this yearning for renewal has been felt throughout the history of mankind.
In my own experience of striving to meet a higher standard as a better citizen, husband, and professional, I have felt energized as I have continued to search for greater clarity, resolve, mission, purpose, and depth in my life. This includes embracing the true, spiritual idea of human existence as never being limited by what seem to be our current circumstances. Through my spiritual practice as a Christian Scientist I have found that even our bodies can be renewed through a new perception of ourselves. And I love how physical scientists such as Dr. Oyle are also beginning to uncover this idea. He has said: “Disease doesn’t just happen to us, nor does health. Our power to heal ourselves is greater than we’ve been led to believe.”
This kind of breakthrough thought is akin to finding new ways to solve mathematical problems by understanding that the law behind those numbers never changes. Understanding is enriched by continuing to recognize what has always been true – and that’s my kind of renewal.
A vivid example of renewal based on uncovering what is already divinely true is found in the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, a 19th-century woman who consistently turned to biblical teachings for health and guidance in her life. After a fall on the ice, many of her friends believed she would not survive the night. Instead, after reading one of Jesus’ healings in the Bible, she was able to get out of bed, get dressed, and live her life free of those injuries. She lived for another 45, very active, years.
This was not a miracle healing that just occurred out of the blue. Eddy had been searching for an understanding of the mind-body relationship for a couple of decades, increasingly concluding that the healing agent in all therapeutics was the thought surrounding the treatment . But this instance of bodily renewal through purely spiritual means galvanized Eddy to even more intently study the Bible for insights into mankind’s spiritual identity, which would promote health and healing without resorting to material methods.
The healing method she discovered proved so viable that she went on to write a book on it, which became a bestseller, and taught and lectured on it while healing many people through its application. She also founded a religion based on the idea of restoring this healing method that had been practiced by the earliest Christians, as well as launching a publishing society and a nationally acclaimed newspaper that are still going strong.
“Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God,” says Eddy.
She realized that renewal is not found within the material arena of thought and action but in the spiritual realm of consciously relating to the Divine. And I’ve found that when all daily actions are defined and placed within this spiritual context of cultivating a relationship with God, renewal is not fleeting, but becomes a moment by moment experience with both depth and permanence.