by Don Ingwerson
There’s been quite a bit of news coverage and talk lately about health care. What it is and who’s in charge of it. I don’t know about you, but I’ve come to realize that we all have the ability to take control of our own health by finding joy, meaning, and purpose in life – qualities that are crucial to well-being in this stressful world – instead of succumbing to feelings of chaos and overpowering dark thoughts.
Many times I have struggled with stressful work problems in the education sector and in many other areas of life as well. Such as the time when I experienced prolonged pounding in my head from the decision to close a school and reaction from area gangs who shot out my car and office windows. But I knew I didn’t have to accept the pressure and headache as the final word. Everyone can take heart to the fact that there are always new ways to find solutions. Ludwig Wittgenstein, early twentieth-century philosopher, wrote: “A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.” In other words, a solution can be reached when the problem is approached in a different way. So how does this different approach work? The figurative pull instead of push?
My approach was to pray and to study Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy, an early contemporary of Wittgenstein. I found the pressure immediately subsided and the headache stopped when I deeply contemplated this statement: “The body is the substratum of mortal mind, and this so-called mind must finally yield to the mandate of immortal Mind.”
Turning to immortal Mind, or God, for answers is a biblical solution representing a metaphoric pull rather than a push in dealing with life’s challenges. Eddy, who was looking for answers to her own health problems, found a direct correlation between health and man’s relationship to God. She understood the power good thought-models could have on people’s lives. But she also warned of the negative impact that comes from being paralyzed by imperfect and poor thought-models – seeing man as just a vulnerable mortal. She wrote: “Do you not hear from all mankind of the imperfect model? The world is holding it before your gaze continually.” She went on to explain that accepting and incorporating these imperfect models in life limits the potential to experience good.
These revolutionary ideas allow challenges to be overcome. The health advice to watch what you eat may be more appropriately changed to watching what thoughts you dwell on, which cultivates a spiritual outlook on life. Understanding the biblical basis for knowing that God is perfect and man in His image is perfect becomes the “pull” to gain a healthy and wholesome outlook on life. With this new outlook on life, everyone can find joy, purpose, and meaning to promote health.