Are you not looking forward to things that are going to happen today or tomorrow? Do you dread seeing someone you must see today or tackling the stack of papers or the pile of unpaid bills on your desk? Have you accepted, perhaps unconsciously, the conviction that nuclear war is inevitable somewhere in the future?
Then, you are certainly not alone!
But we need never look forward with dread or fear - or even stoicism - to what will take place today, tomorrow, next week, or next century, if we will instead look forward to the unfolding of infinite, intelligent good. It is impossible to do both at the same time. The revelation of God's omnipresent, perpetual care for man, discerned through prayer, dissipates the fear of lack and disaster.
''Blot out the images of mortal thought and its beliefs in sickness and sin, '' n1 writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. To blot out such images isn't to hide from evil but to deal with it in the most effective way. And it's not hard to do this when we turn with all our heart to God, who, the Bible tells us, is Love itself. The Bible also assures us that no harm will come to us when we seek shelter in God's presence. n2
n1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 391.
n2 See Psalms 91.
Can we trust this promise? Yes. Loyalty to the one God in thought and deed is a sure defense, and it imparts clearer, more accurate views of existence.
Mrs. Eddy says, ''Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love.'' n3 I have found that as I discipline my thinking to blot out harmful images quickly, and remember that each successive stage of experience brings about new views of God's goodness, that is exactly what happens. New views come to light, and they obliterate old fears. But again, this doesn't mean we're to hide from or ignore evil. Rather, we need to face its claim and then face it down, protesting against its supposed legitimacy through prayer. Then we prove God's supremacy.
n3 Science and health, p. 66.
The Bible implies that God is the one infinite Mind, the ever-present source of all true thought. Divine Mind is constantly informing us of its own perfect plan for its creation. But we need to listen for divine direction.
At one time an acquaintance whom I didn't know very well and with whom I was sure I didn't have anything in common (in fact I dreaded our encounters) turned out to be a most delightful companion for several days when I began to anticipate ''new views'' instead of harboring old dislikes.
At another time a distressing symptom of physical illness, which before had put me in bed for several weeks at a time, simply disappeared overnight when I insisted upon blotting out the images of pain and discomfort and remembered instead that every advancing moment brings new views of God's goodness and love if we will but open our eyes to them. I can think of many such instances.
I used to think that as soon as I got over any specific unpleasant condition - like living in a place I didn't like, or a physical discomfort that periodically plagued me - I could look forward to freedom and progress. But I found that simply waiting until these disappeared was often not the answer; that the promises of materially based thinking were unreliable and sometimes even counterproductive. When I began to replace these false leadings with the assurance that each new stage of experience contains new views of spiritual reality and true happiness, my days became brighter. Mrs. Eddy writes: ''Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment. What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have. This sweet assurance is the 'Peace, be still' to all human fears, to suffering of every sort.'' n4
n4 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 307.
When we relinquish a belief in the inevitability of a sequence of events, and take a childlike view of the inevitability of the unfolding of infinite good, we're not being naive. Rather, we're expressing an intelligent trust in our creator. The Bible encourages such trust, and our Way-shower, Christ Jesus, proved conclusively the value, and the necessity, of looking to God in every need. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord shall give that which is good. Psalms 85:12