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Outgrowing materiality—does life become dull?

From the July 2016 issue of The Christian Science Journal

The spiritual heaven and earth, where there is no physical or mental pain and suffering, sure sounds great. St. John said of it: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.… And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:1, 4).

It’s clear that this revelation is the kingdom of heaven Christ Jesus refers to throughout the four Gospels. In the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy describes Kingdom of Heaven in part as “the reign of harmony in divine Science” (p. 590). Yet, for a long time, trying humanly to envision the details of this heavenly kingdom, or harmonious government of divine Science, left me wondering: What will I do there? What are the actual activities in the spiritual heaven and earth? Aren’t the challenges of navigating human life part of what keeps it from being boring? Because I couldn’t conceive of enough interesting things happening in a place where everything and everyone was perfect, I imagined that spiritual living would be pretty dull and uneventful, and for a long time I wasn’t sure I could be happy with that.

At some point I realized that being afraid of entirely giving up a sense of material life and activities for a completely spiritual sense of being was like the time my mother unintentionally threw me for a loop as a young child when she told me that one day I wouldn’t like toys anymore. I couldn’t imagine life without toys—I didn’t want to not like them! She repeatedly tried to explain that I didn’t need to be upset, because when that time came, I would no longer be interested in them. But I wasn’t able to grasp the idea that I could ever set them aside willingly, and I remained unhappy about it. It wasn’t until I had untraumatically outgrown toys that I understood what she had been talking about. And remembering this lesson is a big help whenever I feel flummoxed by some spiritual concept that I don’t quite understand yet.

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