MY husband and I were dining with another couple whom I had just met. Suddenly the wife asked rather sharply, ``Would you please tell me why you don't drink?'' I found myself praying silently for a moment before I responded. I recalled that my husband had said they were devout members of their church, and so I answered: ``I understand you and your husband love God, and so do we. We love Him as the source of all the good mankind has ever expressed. So we turn to Him when we feel a need for peace, poise, or satisfaction.'' Their response was positive, and we had a very happy time together that evening.
Today, dependence on addictive substances appears to be epidemic. Addiction is causing its victims immeasurable suffering and loss. It is affecting people from all walks of life, including some who perform essential services that require the utmost care. It would be wise for each one of us to ask, ``What am I doing about it?''
Mary Baker Eddy1 discovered in the Scriptures the Science of healing underlying Christ Jesus' unparalleled ministry. She directed those who wanted to demonstrate the teachings of Christian Science in their daily lives not to rely on or use drugs, tobacco, coffee, or alcohol to meet their needs; she knew their needs were spiritual and could only be met spiritually.
In the first chapter of Genesis we are assured that God made all, made man in His likeness, and saw all as good. God, then, is the true source of such qualities as strength, rest, inspiration, joy, health. To believe the loved likeness of God needs a material substance for his well-being is as false as insisting that light can gain its radiance from darkness. Jesus said clearly, ``The kingdom of God is within you.''2
We can all look to God for whatever we need in order to demonstrate daily God's gift to man--dominion over the earth. Through prayer we can prove our God-given dominion over fear, loneliness, inherited tendencies, peer pressure, and so forth. Mrs. Eddy writes: ``As God is substance and man is the divine image and likeness, man should wish for, and in reality has, only the substance of good, the substance of Spirit, not matter. The belief that man has any other substance, or mind, is not spiritual and breaks the First Commandment, Thou shalt have one God, one Mind.''3
Prayer--the acknowledgment of and gratitude for God's presence with us--strengthens our trust in the always available spiritual ideas and qualities that will care for needs. We have only to choose good and reject evil, and the rewards will become evident.
On a plane to Boston I sat with two marines who asked about Christian Science. Then one earnestly asked, ``How can I feel near to God always? Sometimes I don't.'' I explained that good is a term for God. Moment by moment, we have a choice of being kind or unkind, honest or dishonest--a choice of claiming and expressing good or doing otherwise. Choosing good proves our love for God and the presence of God with us.
Suddenly there was a joyful ``I've got it! I've got it! If you spell good, you find God in it! But spell devil and you have evil!'' This insight seemed to satisfy the young man's yearning to realize his inseparability from God.
Good is the only substance that God, Spirit, could create. In truth we are solely dependent on divine substance for our every need--substance that sustains and blesses us and all. Each time we acknowledge and are grateful for the ever-present substance of good for our own needs, we should affirm that this is the substance God gives to all, everywhere. We are then helping to throw light on the path of those temporarily in the dark as to what man truly depends on.
1The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 2Luke 17:21. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 301. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever . . . Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. Psalms 145:1,16