What might have been
Maybe some private disaster swept through your life. Or perhaps it was just a decision, made or left unmade, that determined what came later. You may often wonder if that disaster could have been avoided or the course of your life greatly altered if one small thing had gone otherwise or if the decision had been different.
But the release from any such haunting is at hand. It comes as we discern the ongoing immediacy of good, its unending nature. What is truly wonderful in your life and mine is wonderful because it is of God.Not because of a choice we made between alternate courses of action days or years ago. God is Love. The one creator, the eternal governor of man and the universe. He is forever unfolding good in your life and mine. Because the good comes from infinite Love , it is always at hand. Mary Baker Eddy n1 puts it directly when she says, "Love unfolds marvellous good and uncovers hidden evil." n2
n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n2 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,m p. 288.
Along with revealing the immense good that is ours as God's expression, the light of Love exposes the evil that would block the appearing of that good in our lives. It lifts the rug hiding negative traits of character -- egotism, sensuality, and fear -- and it does so for one reason, so they can be swept away. As we take on more and more the nature of the divine Mind through realizing that it's the only Mind there is, we shed naturally whatever does not reflect divine consciousness. By throwing aside the false mortal mentality that claims to be ours, we in effect chop the vine that nourished negative tendencies. Then they wither and fall away.
If we think we made a wrong decision days or years ago, or if we think someone else made one that has harmed us, the bad consequences can be corrected now. The good that was then, is now. The good we would have had now, if we'd taken that other road, ism -- now. Here.
If that doesn't seem the case, start by getting an understanding of Love. The apprehension of Love's reality, spiritual good -- let that come first. Then we'll be less willing to put up with the sloppy thoughts and habits that would try to crowd out our perception of God's allness. We'll do our best to ditch them.
This love of good is a prayer that delivers and transforms us. The more we love God, the more we'll feel His love unclenching our mental fists to accept the good He is constantly imparting. As this occurs, the evidence of God's ever-presence will follow. And it will be beautiful. There is a line from a hymn that relates to this: "For all of good the past hath had/Remains to make our own time glad." n3 Notice there's no time limit. The good remains. The key to seeing it is understanding.
n3 Christian Science Hymnal,m No. 238.
If we're looking to the past for joy or escape, we're looking in the wrong direction. There is a forward sweep to Christianity -- a focus on ever-unfolding reality, on what Christ, Truth, brings to light. Remember the story of Paul's conversion -- the time he was walking along the road and was struck blind? In an instant, the wall of bigotry and self-will that had been blocking his perception of the Christ collapsed. He did not say, "If only I hadn't been walking down this road . . ." or "What might the situation be if I had become a Christian last week?" But look at what he did say: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" n4 Right there, while he was blind, he was listening, praying, mentally looking forward. And, of course, wonderful good, as well as healing, came into his life. And what immense good he was able to bring to others through his journeys and writings.
n4 Acts 9:6.
There is a thread running through your life. It is not one of human events. It is spiritual. It is the thread of continuously unfolding good that you -- as God has made you -- are constantly in touch with and can express no matter what human events surround you. As we understand this, the question of what might have been fades in the bright reality of what is: man ever expressing his source , divine Love. Man, inseparable from infinite good.