The Lesson of the Birds
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
One winter day, I noticed a flock of birds crossing my path over the freeway against a stormy west wind. It appeared they weren't making headway. But as I watched I could see that they were, ever so slowly. Through their continuous efforts they were systematically moving ahead.Skip to next paragraph
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I've never forgotten this. It showed me that even when we seem to be up against strong odds, not progressing at all, we'll advance if we're consistent and systematic in our approach.
The desire to progress is natural. And soon or late, easily or with difficulty, we'll find that our concept of God very much determines our progress. Understanding God as the all-good, all-wise divine Principle means being able to call on His power to help and heal us - consistently.
Not long ago, a friend asked me how he should think of God. He said that it was hard not think of Him as an object or an oversized human being, or something out there somewhere that is somehow caring and governing.
My answers to my friend were based on the teaching and healing of Christ Jesus. There is an actual law of God by which Jesus taught and healed. It was called Christian Science by the woman who discovered it in 1866. The textbook of Christian Science, which she wrote to explain that law, observes that "in the Saxon and twenty other tongues good is the term for God" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 286).
God literally is good itself. This means that whatever is good in our thoughts and lives is from God; and conversely that whatever is not good is not of God. We see this more clearly when we learn of the impossibility of God's being involved in anything that is opposite to Him in nature. In fact, Jesus said, "There is none good but one, that is, God" (Mark 10:18).
My friend came to understand something of this explanation as he thought about it and prayed. He came to realize that because God is good, anything bad in his life, including sickness, sadness - anything robbing him of harmony - could be ruled out of his life as he apprehended God more clearly.
Good is the source and cause of all that is right, honest, joyous. Good is naturally the destroyer of all that is opposed to it. God is the cause of health, not of disease. He is the source of life, not of mortality.
Understanding the nature of God, and seeing that we have an unbroken, spiritual link to Him, make relying on God for help and healing natural. He is consistently loving His creation, always giving good to it. Divine Love can't be temperamental or haphazard in its control of our lives. God's love for each of us doesn't depend on the human characteristics of the one calling on Him. God is not unpredictable. He doesn't vacillate.
I once read that Pearl Bailey said, "People see God every day; they just don't recognize Him." Scientists and astronomers see God every day, in the orderliness of the universe. They see systematic principles behind the formation of the cosmos, which hint at God's infinitude. And every day, people like you and me see God, in the good that is expressed in our lives. In the love that we feel. In perceiving the nature of God's creation.
Recognizing God means understanding Him, knowing Him as good and powerful. This is practicing the law of God. This recognition heals. For example, for many years I had a growth on my eyelid that was becoming more and more obvious. I decided to pray for healing, basing my thoughts or prayers on this recognition of God's love. Each day I prayed. I thought about God's omnipresence and all power. And I did begin to see that He is as all-powerful, and that no other power is capable of thwarting good. But there wasn't much improvement. I was beginning to feel like that flock of birds, struggling against stormy winds.
Then one day, as I prayed some more, I began to recognize that God's laws are consistent, systematic, and good. That there never can be a moment when they aren't in operation. This was a deepened spiritual understanding of God that enabled me to continue to pray faithfully. And as a result, the growth disappeared. I was completely healed.