I ARRIVED at work one morning to find that I had left a piece of equipment on overnight without the cold running water required for its cooling. My fellow workers were anxious on my behalf, sure that this valuable equipment would be badly harmed and that I would be held responsible. I did appreciate the loving concern being shown. But I also felt I could not afford to share their fear. From the Bible I had learned of spiritual grounds for overcoming fear in every situation. I immediately saw, therefore, that I didn't need to be dominated by the dread of having been negligent. Instead I could pray.
It certainly seemed that I had been negligent! But through my prayers I realized that I didn't need to accept the loss and disruption that the failure of this equipment could cause. I could draw on God's divine law for my information about the situation. I could turn to divine Science, to the knowledge of the spiritual reality of existence that Christ Jesus depended on to restore all situations to well-being.
Divine Science, which Jesus proved to be so effective, is today comprehensively explained in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The book is by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and founded the Church of Christ, Scientist. In the book she writes, ``Under divine Providence there can be no accidents, since there is no room for imperfection in perfection."
Despite appearances, then, I was certain that the operation of God's spiritual law of good was right at hand--that events were not at all at the mercy of material misfortune. I saw that within the spiritual law of God no mistake can occur. In truth, God is the all-governing intelligence who is never inattentive even for a moment, and man, as God's reflection, evidences the control of this faultless intelligence at all times.
From the Bible we learn that we really are this spiritual man, created in God's image and likeness, experiencing His law. This truth becomes practical insofar as we prayerfully understand God's harmonious authority over every aspect of our experience. So, while my workmates looked anxiously for signs of the machine's failure, I held fast to the conviction that we would all see God's effective control. The machine quickly cooled and worked without a hitch. The day's work schedule was uninterrupted and--mu ch to the relief of us all--I faced no claim for compensation. My workmates put it down to luck. But for me it was one more proof of how prayer that identifies God's authority over all things can show us we need not accept that inadvertent neglect of our responsibilities must be irreversible. As the prophet Jeremiah puts it, ``Ah, Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee."
God-derived safety from negligence, however, isn't only a confidence in Christ's capacity to cure the effects of an untoward incident. Discerning the spiritual fact that man's true Mind is God, as the Bible indicates, prevents as well as cures problems. Understanding man's real existence as the idea of divine Mind can, and does, instill alertness and responsible action in us, so that mistakes occur less and less. This is certainly what I found when handling the same machine from then on! I never again fa iled to perform my duties as I originally should have done.
But really, this improvement was only natural! Under divine Providence negligence is impossible, and that's exactly what we can increasingly prove by our prayer.