Forecasting the future
A Christian Science perspective on daily life.
In the midst of the economic downturn, there's one business that's having a brisk upturn: the psychic trade – those who predict the future about everything from love and jobs to 401Ks. An article in The New York Times (Nov. 23, 2008) reported business really got rolling last summer, and it continues to pick up steam.
On the receiving end of this boom are tarot-card readers, astrologers, palm readers, and spirit channelers, some of whom say business is up 70 percent. One astrologer quoted in the Times piece looked at it this way: "People will entertain the irrational when what they consider rational collapses."
One doesn't have to dig too deeply to understand that in times of uncertainty individuals who seek clues about what lies ahead are looking for some assurance that their lives are in control. And though a desire for assurance and peace of mind is natural and right, being driven to "entertain the irrational" leads one to ask, Where can real security be found?
When his disciples asked Jesus a similar question, he responded in this way: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). This is big news – that Jesus, a healer to the world, encouraged his followers to do not just as he did – but better!
What a future for each of us: to even begin to see and experience the world as Jesus did. And what a good idea to start this future now. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, discovered the laws of spirit that were the basis of each one of Jesus' healings. Laws that aren't just scientific, but entirely practical. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" she said: "Having faith in the divine Principle of health and spiritually understanding God, sustains man under all circumstances; whereas the lower appeal to the general faith in material means (commonly called nature) must yield to the all-might of infinite Spirit" (p. 319). This yielding to infinite Spirit leaves all wishing, hoping, forecasting, and crossing of fingers in the dust. It is an understanding that allows us to see from an entirely fresh viewpoint – through the lens of God, Mind, Father. This Mind, supreme intelligence, turns thought completely upside down – and in a world that already appears to be topsy-turvy, that can be a very good thing!
From this new viewpoint, we are no longer at the mercy of dwindling bank accounts, falling stock markets, layoffs, foreclosures, and so forth. It doesn't mean that we are proverbial ostriches with our heads in the sand, in a state of denial as to "the facts on the ground." But it does mean denying that the facts on the ground can touch our real identity as God's perfect idea, safe and secure. Out of this assurance, peace of mind and practical solutions are sure to follow.
What freedom to know that what's around the next corner isn't up for grabs, bound to the vagaries and uncertainties of the human scene. What an enlargement of possibility – that God isn't predicting our future; He is outlining our entire lives. Here Science and Health sheds more light: "The ancient prophets gained their foresight from a spiritual, incorporeal standpoint, not by foreshadowing evil and mistaking fact for fiction, – predicting the future from a groundwork of corporeality and human belief" (p. 84). From this spiritual standpoint we can rest in God's continuing care for each one of us, in ways we can't know this moment.
This is a promise for all humanity, that as more and more of us become acquainted with our true identity, experiencing life from God's point of view, even "the astronomer will no longer look up to the stars, – he will look out from them upon the universe …"(Science and Health, p. 125).
I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand. Psalms 31:14, 15