Are you feeling optimistic about 2008? There was a time when I would walk along the beach with son Matthew at the end of December and we would share our thoughts about the coming year. It is a natural time to set some goals that we hoped to see realized in the coming year. I remember those talks as very positive.
So, just what is optimism? How does one view life as an optimist? Optimism is usually defined as a tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation. Another definition is the belief that the universe is improving and that good will ultimately triumph over evil. That makes an optimist one who usually expects a favorable outcome. An early version of Webster's Dictionary gives this wonderful definition: "The opinion or doctrice that everything in nature, being the work of God, is ordered for the best, or that the ordering of things in the universe is such as to produce the highest good".
As a student of Christian Science, I start each day with a calming and comforting prayer for the awareness that acknowledges the allness of God, good. I stay with this until I can feel the presence of God and see how divine Love governs all situations. In a recent Sentinel article the writer felt that prayer can simply be a request to be shown what God has already supplied in abundance to everyone....since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good. (S&H 494) God is also divine Mind, the source of all intelligence, the answer to every challenge.
What most people want is to feel happy. Happy with themselves, the life, their career, their future. A happy person is a joy to be around as they radiate optimism. Because it is based on trusting in Good, an infallible, unfailing, reliable Good. My study of Christian Science and the ways it has impacted my life makes me happy.
After much prayer and listening I have gotten the answer for what I will be studying in 2008 for my own personal spiritual growth. As usual, having done this for over 25 eyars now, the answer was unexpected. I sometimes study Bible characters but that was not how I was directed for next year. As I listened and accepted that answer (I usually think 'that can't be right' the first few times and finally come to see that it is) many ideas came forth. This should be interesting. I will share with you in January. I hope you are thinking about how you can support your own spiritual growth in the coming year. Feel free to share that. I'd love to hear about it. If you haven't tried this, watch the blog in January and I will explain how I go about doing it.
Go in peace, with optimism.