Not in the Numbers!

IT sometimes seems as if we're just part of a statistical data base. But in reality our lives and experiences aren't defined by ``the numbers'' -- by statistics that assume that a particular person, defined by certain characteristics, is more (or less) likely to experience or do a particular thing. You may not think of yourself this way (it may even seem laughable to you!) and might be surprised that entire groups of businesses do think of you in this way! Such analyses, however, don't take into account that individual man is actually created and governed by God, and that what you or I experience depends on how much of God's true nature we understand and express in our lives right now rather than on an average of what others have thought or done.

To see this more clearly, consider the nature of God. The Bible teaches us that God is infinite Spirit. Because Spirit, God, holds the only real power, He is the creator and governor of all that is real. And, of course, because it is created by Spirit, reality can only be spiritual. God is Life itself; and as divine Life, He doesn't leave anything outside His own loving control. This is just a bit about what God is. But we wouldn't find out anything at all about God by looking ``in the numbers.'' That i s, if we were to do extensive public canvassing about what people thought God was, it wouldn't change His nature. God is still God, regardless of any statistical accumulation of opinions about Him. God is always God, infinite good.

The same reasoning applies to the man God creates. Man is not here as the result of collective opinion or statistics. God, the creator, is divine Life, so the spiritual creation, man, belongs to God, along with every aspect of man's life.

Don't Christ Jesus' healings show this? Each one defied expectations based solely on what was humanly probable. His healing of the man born blind is an example. It's told about in the New Testament book of John. After Jesus restored this man's sight, many of those who learned of the healing just could not accept that it could have happened. Perhaps the man healed, in a very illuminating statement, put it best: ``Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born bli nd. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.''

Such healing destroys the foundation of any belief that man's life consists of thousands of material facts that can be quantified and used to determine his future. Everything about man is spiritual. That is, not just the core or inner part of man is spiritual, but his entire being is so because man is the offspring of divine Spirit. Since materiality is the opposite of God in every respect, materiality will never lead to a true understanding of man.

Learning to think of ourselves in spiritual terms requires patient, persistent effort. But the willingness to start basing our thinking on spiritual facts can change our lives at once for the better. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``When understanding changes the standpoints of life and intelligence from a material to a spiritual basis, we shall gain the reality of Life, the control of Soul over sense, and we shall perceive Christianity, or Truth, in its divine Principle. This must be the climax before harmonious and immortal man is obtained and his capabilities revealed.''

Looking at our own lives in terms of statistics can be discouraging, on the one hand, or lead to complacency and self-satisfaction on the other. But the spiritual fact of man's unbreakable relationship to God leads to an understanding that what God has provided for His creation is good. And the only number that matters in that case is ``one'' -- the eternal unity of God and man.

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