A scene from one of my favourite Christmas cartoons depicts the homecoming of the lost baby New Year after Rudolph’s quest to find him. New Years has always meant for me and most others a time for reflection, and also a time to start fresh. It’s usually also a time for celebration.
I’ve celebrated New Years in many ways. One of my most memorable was a New Years Eve I spent in New York City several years ago when I was living on the east coast of the United States. Instead of going to Times Square, we participated in a fun run around the perimeter of Central Park that started at midnight. I ran it with a group of friends who had all converged on New York for the occasion from many other parts of the country. The energy everywhere in New York on New Years Eve is incredible. It was one of those moments that will always be frozen in time for me. My celebrations now are usually more mundane; last year it was a few of us at an old friend’s (from my high school days) home, and a few drinks. For some of the past few New Years Eves, I’ve celebrated the occasion in a sweat lodge ceremony, a custom with some First Nations peoples.
As I think on the topic of New Years in the context of what I usually write about here, Christian Science, I think about the Christian Science views on anniversaries in general. Like many other topics in relation to Christian Science, this one is also a weird one, and views and opinions among Christian Scientists are all over the spectrum. Many the hard-core Christian Scientist will not celebrate birthdays, or in some cases any sort of anniversary at all. They view this as some sort of limitation on “man” (the generic sense of “man”). Many children have grown up in Christian Scientist homes sadly never really celebrating their birthdays. Some of my Christian Scientist friends will wish me a “happy ‘special’ day” instead of “happy birthday” on my Facebook wall on my birthday. I honestly don’t really care what anyone says, but it is my birthday, after all. However, there are many Christian Scientists (myself included when I was one) who do happily celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Mary Baker Eddy (the woman who got Christian Science started) herself celebrated the birthdays of close friends, and often sent gifts and greetings. The non-celebration of birthdays and anniversaries among some Christian Scientists is yet another of many weird perversions that have evolved within the Christian Science movement over the years.
As I see it, age is just a number, and you’re as old or young as you feel and act. Some days, I feel like I’m twice my age, other days I feel like a kid. Most days, I feel like what I am, a mid 40-something man, earning a wage, and trying to keep my head above water. I say “happy birthday” to whomever is having a birthday, be they Christian Scientist or not. The passage of time is a part of life. Deny it all you want, it still happens.
My big hope in 2015 is for Christian Scientists themselves. I sincerely hope that they will come around and accept themselves as the human beings of whom their (and ours) creator created them to be. I would like for CSers to stop copping that attitude that they are so all perfect when they are not. For me, I have always felt that I was fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and not perfect! I am very happy with myself that way!
My further hope is if and when a CSer has a health issue of the life and death sort, that he/she will consider the medical option and act on it in a very timely manner to resolve it.
I would also like for CSers to respect the rights of other CSers and non-CSers alike should they decide to resort to medicine for certain health issues of their own choosing. I would like to see CSers to utilize this option for themselves and not be ashamed of doing so.
Lastly, this is for the children of CSers. CS parents, I am admonishing you here! You are your child’s only voice. CHILDREN ARE TOO YOUNG TO UNDERSTAND CS!! If he/she tells you they are hurting in any way, shape or form, LISTEN TO HIM/HER! If he/she wants to see a doctor, take the child there! DO NOT TELL THEM that nothing’s wrong, that God is perfect, that He couldn’t create anything imperfect and all that other CS jargon, etc. etc. Please refer to the fourth sentence of this paragraph. Get the problem checked out by a doctor. Your child is relying on you. Don’t sell them short!!
I could go on and on, but for the sake of brevity I had better sign off here. Thanks for reading. HAPPY NEW YEAR, Everybody!
Happy new year to you too! Thanks for stopping by!