On global warming

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Among experts, it's almost universally accepted that human behavior has something to do with global warming. The cars we're driving, the fuel we're burning, the pollution we're producing, they say, are having an impact on the atmosphere of the planet. It's getting warmer.

A few foot-draggers still argue that the trend is due to the same fluctuations in climate that have caused ice ages to come and go. To most observers, though, it's plain that humankind is responsible for at least some of the warming.

The good news: we still have the opportunity to make problem-solving decisions, decisions that will help us tread more gently and that will point us away from harmful practices, toward fostering a cleaner, more stable future.

Those decisions will be the best when they are reached humbly. While our behavior can affect the earth's climate, it does not, cannot, affect God. The Bible repeatedly outlines God's control over the environment. For instance, the book of Job says: "He [God] saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.... By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened. Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud" (Job 37:6, 10, 11).

When we admit, in all humility, that God has control over the whole scene, this doesn't license reckless disregard of issues like global warming. Actually, an acknowledgment of God's control of the universe will begin to steer us into more intelligent concepts and practices. Because when we see some of the harmony, purity, and wisdom that God employs in the universe, we start to express more of those qualities ourselves - qualities that beneficially influence the choices we make as individuals and societies.

Once again, what humanity does may change the earth's climate, but it never changes God. It does not impact His atmosphere. In truth, it's the other way around; His power changes humanity for the better. Because God is Mind, His power is pure and good intelligence. So it's not surprising that, as we pray, our thoughts and motives become purer.

In a real way, the elements that have contributed to the problem of global warming are a mental haze of selfishness, greed, and shortsightedness. The atmosphere emanating from the divine Mind is a refreshing contrast of harmony, purity, intelligence - spiritual qualities one and all. And this hints at solutions for global warming. As people are more humbly willing to yield their agendas to the divine design, selfishness will be put on the retreat.

A movie with smokestacks spewing out black clouds, played in reverse, shows smoke being sucked out of the air. A spiritual understanding of God's atmosphere is a bit similar, in that it will reverse the spread of selfish, greedy, shortsighted thinking and practices. It will reveal His harmony, His intelligence, filling our consciousness, our homes, our skies.

Because both the short- and long-term consequences of divine intelligence are good, the solutions that emerge from prayer are ones that must be appropriate for today, as well as for a hundred years from now.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, once wrote, "Mind, God, sends forth the aroma of Spirit, the atmosphere of intelligence" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pgs. 191-192). The truth is, we are perpetually in a spiritual atmosphere. To realize this in prayer makes all the difference in the world. Human responses to divine intelligence will lead to appropriate acton on global warming.

The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Psalms 103:17-19

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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