We've been thinking a lot about the word "ubiquitous" in the days before the Super Tuesday contest in the nomination process for US president. Republican and Democratic candidates for president are facing off in the largest number of state primaries and caucuses of the year. Political campaigning, rallies, commentary, and TV ads are everywhere. So it's not surprising that ubiquitous comes to mind.
An Internet dictionary offers these definitions: "existing or being everywhere at the same time," "constantly encountered."
Perhaps more than most words, ubiquitous seems to define not only our politics, but also our times in the US – particularly with the World Wide Web. Marketing experts, political consultants, technology companies – even Harry Potter groupies – have a shot at getting their ideas, products, and people everywhere right now – in real time.
Of course, humans can never really be everywhere at the same time. But we try. So, in the past few days, candidates for president have tried to be in all vital locations as much of all the time as they could muster. Following today, they will try to remain ubiquitous all the way to the party conventions this summer, and then all the way to Election Day, which is still nine months away.
A Web-based commentary on this word, ubiquitous, notes that it has often been used with a bit of exaggeration for things and people that seem to turn up everywhere. But if we leave the world of politics and technology, the word can be used without exaggeration when referring to the Divine – to the all-pervading presence of Spirit, God.
God's presence was ubiquitous and a tremendous strength in the lives of prophets and apostles, as recorded throughout the Bible. In the ministry of Jesus Christ, as he was about his Father's business, he was so aware of and filled with the divine presence that broken bodies and lives were healed. Sin was overcome. Hope was restored.
The Monitor's founder, Mary Baker Eddy, sought to follow Jesus' word and works. In one instance when she was about to give a talk, her safety was palpable to her, despite a bomb threat in the hall, because of the ubiquity of God. She knew, as did the Apostle Paul, that "in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Therefore, she could face down fear and feel at peace with God.
So that raises the question, if God is ubiquitous, that is to say "omnipresent," all the time, how are the lives of people being affected today? Just as in the times of Jesus, God continues to be an ever-present help to humanity. You'll find pages of examples, of lives being changed by the power and presence of God, in the weekly magazine founded by Mary Baker Eddy, called the Christian Science Sentinel (www.cssentinel.com).
Encountering the Divine changes us. We become more patient, more loving. We tear down walls of hatred and violence. We seek peace. There is a uniting of peoples and interests as we learn more of who we are as children of the same Father-Mother God. The Bible pulls on our collective conscience as it asks, "Have we not all one father?" (Mal. 2:10). It's comforting to realize more of this truth in a world fractured by limited and selfish thinking. The same God is present in each of our homes at the same time, just as the Divine is present in the far corners of this globe.
Our prayer in this US political season is that all of us encounter more of the presence of God, divine Mind, and the God-derived qualities of wisdom and peace. In His presence, each of us can find hope and solutions that bless humanity. This divine presence can guide us through these times when politics instead of God seems ubiquitous. It will help us maintain our peace. Relying more on the divine presence, we'll find it changing our lives for the better, and discover increasing evidence that it is also changing the world.