Last weekend, my wife and I visited friends in Northern Maine. Among our activities on those cold and windy days, we visited the memorial site of a B-52 bomber that had crashed in 1963 on Elephant Mountain near Greenville. The site was in a remote area and we traveled for miles on dirt roads up the mountain side.
When we finally arrived, we saw the debris field—the remaining wreckage of this huge airplane scattered over a significant area of the woods. It was remarkable how far and wide the evidence of this tragic accident was strewn.
Only two of the nine-member crew had survived the crash, and various organizations had banded together to preserve this area in tribute to the entire crew—a crew who were flying a training mission during the Cold War era. It was a profound experience.
A couple of days later, I began thinking about the debris field—it’s enormity—and it’s continued effect on all who saw it. I could see a parallel to each of our lives.
I had to ask how often do we unknowingly or otherwise carry around a “debris field” of wrong actions, misjudgments, failed relations, less than honorable behaviors, guilt—the list could go on and on—in our consciousness? And how much does that adversely affect our present reactions, responses, and activities?
I know that in my own life I’ve done and experienced things that I’m not proud of. But do we need to be plagued by these for the rest of our lives? Do they need to wrongly color our perceptions and experiences?
Well—as I’ve learned through studying and applying the teachings of Christian Science, the answer to those questions is a definitive “No!”
I’ve seen that to the degree that I strive to live a more spiritual life—one that seeks to emulate the Master, Jesus, in all of his commandments (including to heal)—to that degree does the debris field get cleaned up. The remnants get washed away. The slate gets wiped clean.
And with that washing and wiping, which includes lessons learned, comes a freedom of greater joy, expression, and service to God in helping not only ourselves, but—of greater import—others to see and experience the truth that sets one free. And that freedom is sourced in Love—in God.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health (page 323):
Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, — this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony.
So the question becomes—remembering what St. Paul wrote “…it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil 2:13)—Are we really willing to leave the old for the new and rejoice in the disappearance of those false landmarks—that debris field?
The results and blessings of doing so are nothing short of enormous!
Ken – Thank you so much for these ideas shared, and thanks to Phil for the link! I look forward to receiving your blog regularly. Warmest greetings,
So glad you enjoyed the posts! And, yes, thanks to Phil for the links! Hope you join the email subscription list if you haven’t already. 🙂
All the best,
I add my appreciation of your blog and thank you for it. It actually came at the right time, like an “angel”, finding me in a state of an emotional debris-field in the middle of a disturbing political situation in Italy, where most of the poeple awake to their past personal and collecive errors of dishonesty and irresponsability toward the society. Here our prayers are needed, but as we know, we must stay above the wave to be able to see correctly and not be pulled down in the depth of such emotional problems.
Thank you so much. I’m so glad that you found this post helpful! I understand the situation that you are all dealing with and I’ll add my prayers. There’s a follow-up post I added yesterday (“Debris Fields, Part II”) that you might also find of use that goes into more detail about the spiritual concepts behind eliminating the debris.
Pingback: Links to a two-part blog by Ken Girard, C.S. « Phil Davis, C.S.B.
I enjoyed reading this. Ken..You are so right, one doesn’t need to carry around with him the debris of past mistakes. Our son went through a very rough situation as the result of the wrong choice he made of taking some experimental type drugs at a Bluegrass festival several years ago. For awhile it looked like his life was not ever going to be productive., Today he has been holding down a part-time computer job while attending a school in Arizona where he being trained to go into his dream job of being a Harley Davidson motorcycle merchanic. Prayer has given him back his joy in living a productive life! Thanks again!
Thanks so much! And I’m so delighted to hear about your son and his turn-around as the result of prayer. Wonderful! 🙂