Lessons from misfortune

NOW that the first reactions from the Challenger space launch have subsided, we look for assurance of safer flights in the future. But the human spirit yearns for security beyond human invention and technology; it longs for something deeper, more holy. Comfort can come from God. Our belief that physical laws are final and able to bless us sublimely or curse us dreadfully can yield to an increased understanding of God's constant law of universal love and care. Real law derives from God, divine Principle. It expresses God as the one genuine causative power, creating the universe totally good as the expression of His nature. Man, as God has truly created him, is not a frail mortal, vulnerable to material laws and random annihilation. He is the eternal and cherished offspring of the one unchanging God.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``The divine Love, which made harmless the poisonous viper, which delivered men from the boiling oil, from the fiery furnace, from the jaws of the lion, can heal the sick in every age and triumph over sin and death.'' 1 If this seems inconceivable to us today, one reason may be that the universal conviction that material laws are invincible has temporarily obscured our natural, childlike trust in God's supreme law. Mrs. Eddy adds, a few lines after the statement just quoted, ``That those wonders are not more commonly repeated to-day, arises not so much from lack of desire as from lack of spiritual growth.''

Even if we don't realize it, we all yearn for spiritual growth. Sometimes unfortunate events can be a catalyst to help waken us to this fact. They might even stir us to realize that Mind, or God, can bless human wisdom with sovereign intelligence, in which is no oversight, no limited foresight, no misjudgment. Then we are comforted by a greater assurance that accidents are not inevitable. The law of divine, infinite intelligence, not some so-called law of fate or probability, can govern the righteous affairs of humanity--and in truth this is the only government.

The almost universal belief that death is mankind's inevitable fate should be reconsidered. While it is the natural, Christian response for us to feel compassion for those who suffer loss, death is not the end of man's life. Jesus said to those who were mourning for the daughter of Jairus: ``Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.'' 2 And then he restored her to life.

No one today has the degree of spiritual understanding that the master Christian had, and we may not raise others from the dead. But might we have enough spiritual perception at least to glimpse that those who appear to die continue to live? They have not passed into oblivion, but to a new sphere of experience, beyond our ability to communicate with them. Jesus' own resurrection and his raising of others from the grave illustrate that death is not ultimate.

Our highest purpose in life is not to plod from day to day or even to soar into space. It is meekly and hourly to express more of God's qualities. After the experience called death we continue this mission, striving to demonstrate our unity with God as fully as the Way-shower did.

God is always present to lift us up. To Him there are no accidents, no mistakes, no death, no loss. He is ever- present Mind and Life. In Science and Health, the Christian Science textbook, Mrs. Eddy says, ``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.'' 3

Heavy experiences can push us to consider deeper ideas. As we meekly open our hearts to spiritual reality, we help bring the maximum blessing from what, left to mortal opinion alone, would seem a total loss. Through God's love we learn larger lessons.

1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 243. 2 Mark 5:39. 3 Sci- ence and Health, p. 424. Daily Bible Verse: I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18

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