The desire for peace and progress is common among peoples. The need for long-range planning to this end is great - perhaps most crucial for the future of third-world and developing nations. Those who naturally wish to contribute to the progress of the world need to find truly effective, practical ways of doing it - ways that will bring genuine, lasting help and avert suffering and loss. This may seem problematic, since there are so many apparently unknown factors.
None of us has a crystal ball to foresee the details of world events. But that doesn't mean we can't plan for the future. There is much more to depend on than mere speculation or chance. It is possible, when our motives are pure and unselfish, to align ourselves with divine wisdom and actually see ways of accomplishing good that might previously have been impossible for us to fathom.
Frankly admitting to ourselves the limitations of even our best human efforts , we're more inclined to turn humbly to God for guidance. There is nothing vague about this simple turning. The mightiest people have come to see their total dependence on a power outside themselves, beyond the boundaries of conventional mortal thinking, and have acknowledged God as this dependable, ever-present power.
Christian Science encourages all who have a deep desire to see progress, whether they are involved in government or social agencies, or are simply concerned citizens of the world, to acknowledge the powerful guidance of God. It encourages us to trust that there are benevolent spiritual laws, which, when rightly understood and appealed to, bring into view great resources and possibilities for good, as Christ Jesus so persuasively showed throughout his ministry.
The story of Joseph in the Bible illustrates how God-impelled insight saved thousands from starvation during a famine in the Middle East. Of all the people in Egypt at that time, Joseph probably would have seemed the least likely candidate to come up with a comprehensive long-range plan to save the country, since he was a foreign-born slave, unjustly serving a prison sentence!
But this young man was a veteran in trusting God. He had a capacity to see a greater design in the course of events, and he used every opportunity to help others, even when it looked as if there were no opportunities at hand.
When Joseph was called out of prison by Pharaoh, he shared his insights regarding Pharaoh's troubling dreams. Joseph predicted that there would be seven years of productivity followed by a famine throughout the land. But right along with this he offered an inspired plan that would avert mass tragedy.
Joseph claimed no mysterious personal clairvoyance. He had told the Egyptian ruler, ''God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.'' n1 Joseph was put in charge of administrating and carrying out the plan for food storage and distribution.
n1 Genesis 41:16.
Not only the people of Egypt, but citizens of neighboring nations were safely brought through the years of drought. In fact, brotherhood and cooperation were fostered. Joseph was able to help his brothers, whose pettiness and rivalry had made them sell him into bondage. He was reunited with his family, and all were blessed.
The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, n2 helps us understand the Science, or divine laws, behind such significant events. It explains, ''Acquaintance with the Science of being enables us to commune more largely with the divine Mind, to foresee and foretell events which concern the universal welfare, to be divinely inspired, - yea, to reach the range of fetterless Mind.'' n3
n2 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n3 Science and Health, p. 84.
Our world needs our acknowledgment of one benevolent God, one divine Mind governing man. The result of this prayerful acknowledgment and trust can show itself in the meeting of human needs in fairer, more appropriate, and more effective ways than we might have thought possible.
Appealing to spiritual law will show us how to improve our human laws and methods and give us the vision we need to support the progress of all mankind. In this way we may take part in the fulfilling of the Bible promise ''As the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.'' n4
n4 Isaiah 61:11.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. . . . Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. Psalms 145:13, 16