2014, I mean 2015
January 8, 2015
Recently, I’d made the date on several important documents January 2014 instead of January 2015. You see, 2014 was an established habit – I didn’t have to think about it, it just flowed from my fingers through the pen or keyboard. It was legitimate for so long, surely I could make continued use of it. I mean, what difference would it make?
And why should I have to remember the new date anyway? It required of me to actually pay attention to what I was doing. But alas, using the old wrong date created too many problems. Important information was lost, or misfiled. Documents had to be redone – sometimes from scratch. Holding to the incorrect date, regardless of how big a habit it had become, was painful, and rather ridiculous.
Sometimes that’s the way it is with things that need to change. We know we really should – and frankly, we probably want to anyway. But the old way is so ingrained, so much a part of our behavior that we just can’t seem to catch ourselves until after the fact. Then we fuss and fret and imagine that the bad habit is simply to be endured – and suffered for. The Apostle Paul explains it this way, “the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. O wretched man that I am.” (Rom 7:19,24)
Just as we eventually begin to write the correct date – with a bit of conscientious care – we can also shift from repeating some other bad habit to forming a new and better one, in the same way: conscientious care. The key is in watching our thought, because behavior stems from our thinking. Mary Baker Eddy once wrote, “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.” (Science and Health p. 392)
Yes, you can actually identify a thought before you accept it as your own – you can decide whether it will bless you or harm you. If that thought is the basis of an unwanted behavior, nip it in the bud. Don’t think it, then you won’t be compelled to act upon it.
Following the Apostle Paul’s painful confession, quoted above, he asked how to be delivered from repeating the problem. The answer? “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Paul knew that the Christ is that quality of thought which acknowledges that “with God all things are possible” as Jesus himself said and proved. (Matt 19:26)
That means that watching thought – choosing the better ones and rejecting the worse – is not simply an activity of human will. It is a spiritual ability animated by God. Jesus put it this way: “I can of mine own self do nothing…because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30)
While exchanging 2014 for 2015 is not terribly dramatic, it is indicative of one’s capacity to improve. And knowing you can – especially when you must – makes the transition more hopeful. And isn’t that the best part of the Christ? To instill hope?
Welcome to 2015!
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.