I'VE read the story of Noah and the ark so many times! But recently new meaning came through as I thought how it relates to helping the world environment and peoples and animals. First of all, Noah listened to God and carried out His instructions even though what he did looked very strange to others. I'm not feeling called to build a physical ark, but I have been feeling the need to pray, and to include the whole world in my prayer. Noah couldn't fit the whole world into his ark, but there is a metaphysi cal concept of an ark that is big enough to embrace the world.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, the Scientific explanation of the law of God demonstrated by Christ Jesus, gives this explanation of ark in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Safety; the idea, or reflection, of Truth, proved to be as immortal as its Principle; the understanding of Spirit, destroying belief in matter." And she goes on in the next paragraph: ``God and man coexistent and eternal; Science showing that the spiritual realities of all things are created
by Him and exist forever."
This ark is available to all. It is spiritual understanding with which we can realize our present safety. It may take thoughtful pondering and prayer to understand that we really are spiritual and from that understanding begin to heal the problems our world is facing. But just as God spoke to Noah and enabled him to accomplish his task, the power of God is present to deepen our prayers and bring us ``the understanding of Spirit, destroying belief in matter.
Now, destroying belief in matter may seem as strange a thing to do as building a huge ark with no rain in sight. Aren't the things we're concerned about saving material: spotted owls, rain forests, jobs, human lives? That's certainly the way it looks. But, in fact, it is the belief in matter as the basis of reality that is the cause of the ecological imbalances that need correcting. The Bible promises that God will supply all our need. Could it be that by believing that matter is the source of life and i s needed to sustain life, we're attempting to shut God, Spirit, divine Truth, out of the picture--and are thereby shutting ourselves off from the spiritual source of the intelligence we need? Could it be that the problems we are experiencing are actually important signposts that are telling us that what we need is a more spiritual understanding of Life, of God, to solve our difficulties?
Just as Noah was able to provide food for as long as it was needed, we can look to greater spiritual understanding and inspiration to meet the pressing needs of the world today, whether we're actually involved in a situation or actively praying on the sidelines. Referring to food, drink, and clothing, Christ Jesus promised, as Matthew's Gospel tells us: ``Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things s hall be added unto you." Through spiritual understanding and great love, Christ Jesus fed thousands of people. Aren't we being called upon to love more and to turn to God for solutions?
God is all good and never causes evil of any kind, but rather understanding God and living according to the true nature of God overcome evil. But human misunderstandings of God need to be replaced with spiritual understanding. The problems we face can be seen as Truth's opportunities to lead us to higher, more spiritual views of God's beautiful, harmonious creation.