Challenging chance and accidents

In a display in the Boston Museum of Science, hundreds of black balls fall through a grid, ricocheting from one post in the grid to another. Their relentless path downward appears to be shaped primarily by gravity and collision. As they collect at the bottom of the display, they form a bell-shaped curve, illustrating a familiar theory of statistical probability.

News reports of accidents or of near escapes from accidents may cause us to feel like one of those little black balls. We may feel as though we're bouncing from circumstance to circumstance, our path shaped by chance occurrences and following some merely statistical pattern.

It's interesting to consider that this and other museum displays are described as illustrations of mental models that mathematicians have used in their study. The view that life is determined by chance is also a mental model, and its validity has been challenged by a more scientific view. That challenge came from Christ Jesus. Instead of moving powerlessly from circumstance to circumstance, he confronted chance, accident, disorder, with the law of God, the law of infinite, ever-present good.

When Jesus encountered a storm at sea, he calmed it. When he encountered an accident of birth-congenital blindness-he healed it. When he was faced with resources too limited for the demand, he proved the picture of a few loaves and fishes to be a model not in keeping with his Father's unlimited provision.

These acts illustrated the purposefulness and harmony of divine intelligence, the Mind that is God. Christ Jesus' works showed that God, Spirit, is not the author of chaos and chance. They proved that divine Love, the intelligence of the universe and of man, outlaws accident. Jesus' promise in the Gospel of John, n1 that his followers will do the works he has done, assures us that divine Love continually enables us to challenge mistaken models of reality built on chance and accident.

n1 See John 14:12.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded the Science of Christ, or Christian Science, came to see that Jesus' healing works were as much an outgrowth of divine law as were his teachings. She saw that the Mind which Christ Jesus expressed supremely in his lifework is the one true lawmaker, whose creation conforms completely to the wholly good nature of its creator. She writes, ''Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God's unerring direction and thus bring out harmony.'' n2

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 424.

In a small way I saw the operation of this true, spiritual view of creation in my own life when treacherous road conditions threatened to make me an accident statistic. My car as well as several others had begun to skid out of control toward a stalled trailer truck at the bottom of a hill. Out loud, I simply said ''No!''-not in fear, but in the certainty that divine Love was enabling me to challenge whatever has no divine law behind it. The car suddenly began to gain enough traction for me to pull to safety. One by one the cars behind me found safety, too.

We each have an irrevocable place in the harmony of Love's spiritual creation. We live and move because of divine law. And we are able to rely on the transforming power of Love's law in confronting the assumption of accident. The effect of this challenge will be a reordering of our daily lives to express more certainty and grace, to show more of the Science of creation. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Men's goings are of the Lord. Proverbs 20:24.

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