We have reached 2012, a milestone in a couple of ways! First, you’ve probably been hearing for a couple years that the world is about to end. This is according to the Mayan calendar or something…. They even made a movie about it. The only thing I remember hearing about this that made any sense came from a Mayan scholar. He said that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012…and then starts over again! I’m not sure how that part got overlooked, but it does make a better story without it.
The other thing I’ve heard about 2012 comes from the medical community (from several sources). I’ve heard that if you are alive in 2012, your life expectancy will be 120. Thisis because of our expanded ability to grow “replacement parts” from our own cells, reducing the risk of rejection and doing away with the necessity to watch, goulishly, for someone to die to leave you something. And, of course, killer diseases are being dealt new blows every day by advancement in medicines and treatment. Now, you may have heard (because I have, too) that this is the first generation the won’t live as long as their parents because of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. But, of course, I don’t accept that. Any race intelligent enough to invent a sedentary lifestyles (computers, television, labor saving devices) is intelligent enough to save us from it! I already watch television sitting on a big, blue, bouncy ball that’s supposed to work my core: what’s next??
When it comes right down to it, the number of years we live isn’t nearly as important as how we live those years. (Although I have been guilty in the past of saying I wanted to live ALL the years I possible could, even if I was just a head on a pke being wheeled around like some characater from Star Trek! I just have to see how this soap opera turns out!) But seriously: I do care about the quality of my years. I want to keep growing (mentally and spiritually); I want to keep sharing with my family (my church family and my native family); I want to wonder at all the new experiences yet to come. And because those are my priorities, I feel pretty confident that I’ll get a good shot at making it to 120, if anyone does. Why? It’s not because I’m a health “nut” (I can’t remember to take vitamins or to avoid fat and sugar… well, I’m not really trying too hard on that part!) I think I can live a long time because I observe the ones who do. By observation and official scientific study, we see that the people who live the longest have very little in common with each other. Some smoke; some never do. Some are overweight; some aren’t. Some drink, some don’t.
What do they have in common? They’re happy, for one thing. They’re able to relax, handle stress, think positively. They are in good relationships with individuals and with communities. They keep purpose alive. They are connected spiritually. They look forward, not backward. (I always check myself if I find myself grumbling about new technology when the computer confounds me: I remind myself that knowledge is power and try to learn something new, which is another thing that keeps you young and healthy. This Christmas, for the first ime, I bought things on the computer and loved it!) If all these things are the recipe for a long, happy life, I think I’m on the right track.
I want to invite as many people as possible to walk that track with me. In the month of January we follow one of the few Religious Science traditions: we cover the first four sections of The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes in our Sunday talks. It’s a perfect overview of the basic principle, principles I’ve built my life upon, quite happily, for the last thirty-two years. Also, starting this January, Rev. Maur Horton will be teaching the course “Treatment and Meditation”, an understanding of two of our powerful tools in coming to live the life you want.
I like January because it’s one of the few times I get to say “Yippee-ty-yi-yah!” for Religious Science. (We honor all traditions and sometimes soft pedal our own.) This is the month, while looking over our basics, that I get to wonder at the joy and power of living a life guided by Spirit and Principle. The calendar may be running out, but my enthusiasm for this philosophy never will. – Rev. Mary Midkiff