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Imelda Shanklin: All Things Made New

Change is the master law. Everything is in a process of renewal. Fixity is a state that is acknowledged nowhere except in the unquickened mind that is too dull to apprehend the fine movements that keep fresh and buoyant the lifesprings of creation. Because law governs, every outer transformation proceeds from a producing cause, however remote from observation the cause may be. The activities that underlie the outer shiftings are secret to the senses, but there is within the individual mind a knowing that is related to all the things of being. This knowing brings recognition of the Spirit of God moving on the face of the waters. The moving Spirit is the Change-producer, the Transformer, the One who says: "I make all things new."

Physical life begins its community work by constructing the cell, and so plastic is the cell that it scarcely partakes of the nature of physical things. A semiphysical character is given the cell by the impress of the vernal consciousness that does the constructing. New ideas, new outlooks, new uplooks, produce new and delicate forms. The body of the babe is lovely, fair, and sweet, not because the child is young but because its consciousness has not grown stale toward its environment.

Every physical appearance is the product of mind acting upon the elemental substance. There is one repository, one energy, one substance; or, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. These three are one. Repository exists as unmodified being; energy is being undergoing modification; substance is the modification of being. Energy is the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters. This is the comparative degree of being, and results in dissimilarities. It is identical with the finer processes which the quickened mind recognizes. The dry land, the oceans, vegetation, the creeping things upon the face of the earth, are substance. Energy working in substance is that which suffers, which is crucified, which dies, which is buried, which descends into hell through involution; it is that which is resurrected on the third day and ascends into heaven through evolution; it sits at the right hand of God to judge the quick as those who see these things, and to judge the dead as those who see them not.

Energy is coexistent with creation. It functions in the breaking down process and in the upbuilding activity. The nature of the idea at work determines the character of results. The physical appearance of decay indicates the involution of a succeeding idea which will later evolve its peculiar representative. Growth is the sign of evolvement.

In the fact of ceaseless change lies the possibility of man's dominion; the all-power in heaven and earth which Jesus claimed was his mastery on the finer mental planes that gave him authority over the outer. Whoever directs causes controls events; here is where the Son judges the quick. Whoever submits to events bows to the mind that shapes events; he meets the judgment of the Son, which declares a state of death to be upon whoever is not alive to his own premiership in the realm of comparative objects.

None of these facts of life slumbers in the dust of the past; none peers over the eastern hills of a coming day. All realities are now with us and every possibility is today subject to our choice. There is no item of life exempt from individual dominion. Cringing before events is the submission of the bondman who waits for the coming of a hypothetical liberator. Entering the zone of finer mental activities to perceive, to harmonize, and to direct, is to lead captivity captive and to obtain that heaven-wide freedom upon which events cannot encroach.

Creation is renewal. Habit-bound thinking is the one stale thing, and from it proceed weariness of mind and body, fossilized conditions, and irksome routine. Notwithstanding these, all things are undergoing the renewing process. The earth spun as industriously upon its axis when all its inhabitants believed the contrary as it now does, and its motion at all times preserves physical things from the suffocation that physical stagnation would entail.

Food taken into the body is transmuted, the elements acting within the physical to produce new conditions. Air breathed into the lungs makes new the blood circulating within the body. Water drunk sweeps out the old and leaves the cells refreshed. These three physical processes are nature's agencies of renewal in the corporeal being. If the trend of the individual is toward the physical outer realm of life, he experiences six prescribed changes. The first three are evolutionary—childhood, youth, maturity; the second three are involutionary—middle age, decline, failure. If the trend be toward the spiritual inner, the process becomes wholly evolutionary; the individual applies himself to a correspondence with the finer creative processes and adapts his energy to the upbuilding work.

When physical science declared that renewal is the order of universal activity, it took a position which suggested man's cooperation with the regenerating processes. We have been slow to grasp the all-possibility suggested in the continually changing cosmic electron. The value of the knowledge is that newness does not begin and cease in the electron. The possibility lies in the two facts that mind is the actor and the electron the recipient of the act. Every mind is anchored to Omniscience, but many minds swing on the long cable of experience, in which involution, the breaking-down process, is exercised. The mind that is unified consciously with Omniscience upbuilds steadily.

When the mind begins to crust itself over with staleness the involutionary period sets in and the cells begin to break down under the burden of time. The cell is the mind's impress on substance; it is a day old, a year old, a century old, or it is constantly young with the youth of God. Any one of these states may exist in any human organism, no matter what the term of earthly experience is. The family Bible record is the stalest joke extant. We are born with every thought that passes through our brain cells and that is from them transmitted into our body cells. We are born youths in Christ or old men in sin. We do the thinking and we take our choice. The result adds life to the life already in the organism, or it subtracts life from the fund that former thinking has gathered in.

The cell is a registry of the thought. When David looked back upon those experiences that forbade his building the Lord's temple, he said: "I have been young, and now am old." Here was a second reason why he could not build the temple. Lust and age are two breaking-down processes that the final evolutionary triumph will abolish. The mind that experiments with what is found in the outer physical, concludes: "There is nothing new under the sun." The mind that works on the inner zone of Spirit, says: "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind."

The possibility of the new heavens and the new earth is wrapped in every act of life. Routine pertains to the mind, not to the thing. No one has breathed the same oxygen two times, eaten the same potato two times, bought the same new pair of shoes two times, or even put them on for the first time two Wednesday mornings of the same week. All the old is new if we have the mind that welcomes succession and its possibilities. That which has been a familiar summer scene becomes a new landscape when viewed through the sparkle of frost tones. The sky by day and by night varies with the sun's position. The friend approached on a new theme reveals new characteristics for admiration. The same act is never performed the second time under identical conditions. Life is always new. The realization that necessity is opportunity gives youth to every experience and newness to everything. Now is the universe absolutely new, untried, alluring with the mysteries of the unexplored.

"Sing unto Jehovah a new song." The individual Lord must at times be weary of the old, habit-crusted thoughts, centering in self and awry with selfishness. No real thing in life becomes stale. Love never ages. Beauty and truth are always new. All the graces are forever young, forever glowing, forever eager.

Let us wail no more the dirge-chords of negation; let us cease the monotone of the uneventful; let us make mute the notes that sing of the nonexisting past. Let us lift up the anthem shout of praise for the ever ready goodness; let us sing of the unfolding freshness of our days; let us pitch our tones to the glad heights that tell of God with us, working for us and in us through ceaseless change, to baptize us with the newness that crowns all his works. So shall the new heavens descend through mind to bring forth their new earth, and so shall we walk and talk with God in age-abiding joy.

Awake, O eternal life of the eternal God, to thy unfailing newness in me.