Decisions by a few, or even by a single individual, may affect many, or even all, humans. Could the consequences be unimaginably catastrophic? It sometimes looks that way. Consider three snapshots from recent history:
As World War II drew toward a close, J. Robert Oppenheimer and his crew on the Manhattan Project charged ahead with the building of the atomic bomb. A few of them pondered a secret concern. What if the atomic inferno was so intense that it set the atmosphere on fire? That would not only end the war, it would end the human race.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the largest machine in the world, is now in a start-up phase. The Collider sits 300 feet underground on the French/Swiss border. Its purpose is to uncover deep secrets of the origins of the universe. Is it safe? Almost all experts agree it is. Yet the Collider may produce miniscule “black holes.” Experts argue they will be too short-lived to do any harm. A few doubters aren’t so sure. What if a “black hole” isn’t so small or so brief? Could it swallow not just the LHC but also the whole earth?
Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, president of Nigeria, temporarily left his post and went totally silent for seven weeks. During that time, he never transferred power to the vice president. Only following that silence did he disclose that he’d gone to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. Even without a disappearing president, Nigeria ranks among the most corrupt nations in the world – a haven for terrorists. By deciding to leave the nation rudderless for weeks, he allowed the country to drift ever closer to the shoals of anarchy.
In such cases, is there anything a bystander can do? If you desire to promote safety and sanity, the possibilities are vast. Just one person, perhaps far from the levers of power, could make healing decisions, the consequences of which are unimaginably wonderful. Because when divine wisdom illumines the promise of safety-enhancing decisions, that promise overwhelms the peril of reckless decisions.
Now consider this snapshot from the Psalmist:
“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof” (Ps. 24:1). When you let the reality of that sink in for just a moment, its implications for planet-wide safety and sanity are enormous. Not even individuals set on carrying out violent and selfish decisions can exempt themselves from this divine fact. Everything – the whole spiritual universe – belongs to God. It is all under His endlessly attentive care. That affects the earth, which is the Lord’s. It affects each one of us. We are also fully His. The present fact about you, which divine wisdom makes plain, is that you are this day safe in the strength of God, divine Mind. You are this hour secure on the rock-solid foundation of Truth. You are this moment covered from the devourer by pure Love’s protection and affection. One person knowing this can make a world of healing difference.
Mary Baker Eddy, a devoted follower of Christ Jesus, sounded these themes. She discovered the Science, or divine law, of safety. She wrote a message that still speaks to spiritual seekers today: “This hour is molten in the furnace of Soul. Its harvest song is world-wide, world-known, world-great. The vine is bringing forth its fruit; the beams of right have healing in their light. The windows of heaven are sending forth their rays of reality – even Christian Science, pouring out blessing for cursing, and rehearsing: ‘I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground’ ” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 269). Christian Science is the voice of truth to all ages, bringing healing to each receptive thought. You, too, can choose to throw your mental weight on the side of healing. That tends to negate the effects of wrongheaded decisionmaking. Despite the clouds of uncertainty, harmony and blessing dawn.
In one sense, God Himself doesn’t engage in decisionmaking. God doesn’t need to decide. He already knows. Through the act of knowing His creation, He grasps it spiritually. He holds it within His care. By knowing His creation as flawlessly spiritual, He maintains it as endlessly indestructible. For Him to know His universe is for Him to hold it at the standpoint of safety and sanity. When the decisionmaking of one person is prayerfully grounded on the knowing of one God, it forwards the dawning of security for all. Such prayer can even reduce the risk of decisions that may be necessary, but could be laced with uncertain consequences.
And would-be evildoers? Their catastrophic nightmare grows less likely in the presence of the Divine. The God who is Mind and Truth and Love is knowing, “The earth is [Mine] and the [full safety] thereof.” As people – even a few of them, even one of them – glimpse that God is the knower, decisionmakers everywhere will do better. Wonderful consequences will grow more possible, and the dawning of safety continue. The clouds of uncertainty will retreat.
From an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.