Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Living 'The Good Life' ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Living 'The Good Life' ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

When we were offered a country house on a vast strip of land between Provence and the Cote d'Azur, in which to spend our summer holidays this year, we didn't hesitate one second. A few weeks later we packed our car, filling it with all the ingredients for two happy, sunny weeks.

From our home in Germany, the trip took many hours, but they were happy hours. Each member of our family took turns reading to one another.

When we finally arrived, the huge iron gate swung open majestically. We drove up the stony country road skirted by plane and pine trees, past the large garden surrounded by a sturdy medieval wall, to the house with its tile roof, a shimmering brick red.

We settled in for a two-week stay, and if there is such a thing as living "the good life," this was it.

Right away I fell in love with a chapel on the grounds, built around AD 1100 by Carthusian monks. It got me to thinking about all that it took to build such a structure in those days. The degree of dedication and persistence moved me.

As I thought of the leisurely days ahead, I realized that the monks' dedication and sacrifice for the sake of worship involved a higher level of living the good life. Yes, it was a good life, not relaxing like our summer days, but meaningful.

The truly good life depends on meaning, and it has divine goodness at its core.

One morning when I woke up, the first thought that came to me was this: There is only the law of God. Nothing else matters. I was wide awake immediately, and I let this idea expand and settle.

To me it meant that God, as the Supreme Ruler of the universe, an infinite entity, the eternal being and supreme Creator, is all that matters, and that only goodness is important. It meant that I had a right to expect only good in my life.

It's easy to ponder the goodness of God in such friendly surroundings, but the goodness of God is essential to living the truly good life. The thought I'd had that morning - that nothing other than the law of God matters - carried me throughout the day and beyond. …

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