Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Worrying about Symptoms?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Worrying about Symptoms?

Article excerpt

Symptoms are popularly thought to be evidence that trouble may be approaching. As a society, we've gradually been increasingly educated into watching for such signs.

If we move in financial circles, we may have our eye on a number of economic indicators so that we'll know just where the economy may be headed. An uptick in unemployment would be considered a symptom of bad things ahead for the economy. For those who have a strong interest in the environment, there are growing numbers of studies enabling them to focus on symptoms that indicate whether our Earth, water, or atmosphere is developing problems. A diminishing number of bees is regarded as a symptom of trouble ahead for plants.

But even closer to home, the media bombard virtually everyone with descriptions of symptoms on or in the body regarding our health. Some, we're told to take in our stride. Others, we're encouraged to be alarmed about.

I recall several years ago reading a Boston Globe account of a medical study suggesting there certainly are times when patients may do better to look away from the body than to dwell on the symptoms. The study seemed to reconsider how to best deal with symptoms, not to ignore them.

My study of Christian Science has shown the importance of taking an active, even aggressive, approach to handling symptoms. In terms of challenges with the environment or any other large-scale world issue we face, one doesn't have to look beyond this newspaper to see how problems can be confronted and dealt with in a constructive, helpful, and even healing way.

Christ Jesus certainly didn't ignore symptoms of sickness, disease, and invalidism. While being compassionate toward people's suffering, he looked beyond their misery - never dwelling on the material circumstances - and discerned the perfection of God's beloved spiritual child in everyone. He saw that our existence is created and maintained by God, Spirit, and that what is spiritual is eternal. …

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