It has been said that “order is heaven’s first law.” Sometimes our sense of order, whether at work or at home, is challenged by events beyond our control, and we may feel that somehow we’ve been put outside heaven by disordered thoughts or unexpected events.
Whenever I feel that my sense of order is under threat, I’ve found it helpful to ponder something
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, wrote in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Where the spirit of God is, and there is no place where God is not, evil becomes nothing...” (p. 480).
Since God is ever-present divine Principle, the divine order is always in place. Jesus’ teachings make clear that each of us is the child of God, inseparable from Him, always safe under His care. When we think about this in spiritual terms, it becomes clear that each of us has a right place with, or relation to, God, and that we can depend on it. So when things come along that seem to interrupt the harmony of God’s kingdom and our experience of it, there is a divine law that will support our prayers and lead to a solution.
Not long ago I had two problems that gave me an opportunity to prove this. I was living in a fifth-floor walk-up apartment in New York City, and, all of a sudden, I found evidence of mice. That same week, I lost my tenants in a small condominium I owned in California that provided a significant portion of my income. So I had a vermin infestation – a wrong presence – in one place, and the absence of a proper presence in the other one.
I started to pray, reasoning from the standpoint that my place in God’s kingdom was secure and that it couldn’t be invaded by a wrong presence or disrupted by an absence of good. I thought about Mrs. Eddy’s statement that God is everywhere and realized that this fact drives out any feeling that inharmony can have a place in our lives. Since we are always in our right place – with God – we can’t lose that place, either, through some absence of good or an invasion of evil. As I prayed along these lines, I felt relieved and was able to drop my concern about both problems.
That evening I got a call from my real estate broker in California. The condo had just been rented. And the same night I had my last encounter regarding the mice. I was sitting on my sofa, feeling grateful that the condo had been rented, when a little mouse backed out from under my sofa, between my feet, looking confused and afraid. Not being very fond of mice, I was tempted to shriek. Then the sight of the little creature touched my heart.
“You and I are in the same place!” I said, laughing. I caught myself. “But not in fear. We’re both safe!”
Using a plastic bowl and a cookie sheet, I caught him, took him downstairs, and released him into the alley. And that was the end of my mouse problem. I never saw another one in my apartment, and I’ve never been afraid of mice since.
What had happened? I’d seen how impossible it was that even one of Life’s creatures could become misplaced, or that a place could exist without a purpose. There are neither absences nor disruptive presences in God’s kingdom, where all is spiritual and each idea is correctly related to all the others.
These concepts are useful in helping us find and fill the places in our lives. But the fact is, there is only ever one place – the one infinite Mind, which safely embraces and places all of us. As God assured Jacob when he was trying so earnestly to discover and fill his proper place in life, “Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest” (Gen. 28:15). This is our Father’s promise to all of us.