GO on a long trip, forget to look at your gas gauge, and what happens? You run out of fuel and you're stuck until more is obtained. In contrast, no matter how things appear to us, we can never run out of good. It isn't somewhere else. Unlike material things, it is a quality of God and so is always present.
We do not have a limited allotment of good we can use up. The outpouring of love and good from the inexhaustible divine source can never diminish. In a sense, we never need to go farther for it than our own consciousness.
This is a big claim. Even so, many people would readily agree to some of its simpler aspects. We may know those who find the most engaging good in simple situations. We probably know those who seem to generate goodness, helpfulness, purity, wherever they may be.
Such individuals are proving to some degree, whether or not they're aware of it, the unlimited outpouring of good from God. The consciousness of God's provision is cultivated through prayer, including daily, consecrated acknowledgment of God's allness. If some events cause us to feel that good has been taken from us or is simply not available, we need to ask ourselves honestly, ``Have I prayed -- deeply, sincerely, and with a conviction of the reality of good? Have I refreshed my sense of the ever-presence of divine Love?''
The Bible recounts the story of a poor widow in debt whose sons were to be taken away as slaves. She appealed to the prophet Elisha for help. In his reply he asked her, ``Tell me, what hast thou in the house?''1 She explained that she had only a pot of oil, and he told her to borrow many vessels. She did so and was able to fill them all from her pot, sell the oil, pay her debts, and live with her sons on what she had left.
Elisha understood the unlimited nature of God's outpouring of good. The woman already had it in her house -- or, we might say, in her consciousness of God's presence, as she showed by appealing to the prophet. But she needed to be awakened to the immediacy and practicality of God's care and, perhaps, to the qualities within her that would enable her to meet the challenge.
The God-derived qualities we are able to express do not run out. In any new situation we can still find ourselves ready to express the love, joy, harmony, and care that characterize our real being.
In a parable Christ Jesus told of ten virgins waiting for a wedding to begin.2 Five had filled their lamps with oil, and five had neglected them. When the bridegroom came, only half were ready to enter with him to the wedding. The others, whose lamps were empty, were not ready and were therefore not admitted. Proving the presence of good in our experience is not a casual or momentary thing but arises out of our steady consecration to understanding God and expressing more of God's nature.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, defines oil in its spiritual meaning as ``consecration; charity; gentleness; prayer; heavenly inspiration.''3 These are certainly qualities that the widow had at hand. And they are resources that can lead us out of the poverty of feeling resourceless. As we embody these qualities, we're able to prove something of the unlimited nature of good. Such resources as consecration, charity, gentleness, prayer, never leave us ``out of gas.'' They give us an answer to the prophet's question ``What hast thou in the house?'' They prepare us for the marriage feast.
Aware of God's provision, the Psalmist said, ``My cup runneth over.''4 As we pray with consecration, in gentleness and love, we are increasingly inspired to see ways we can acknowledge good, participate in it, further it by our own thoughts and acts. We're able to prove that we can never run out of it.
1II Kings 4:2. 2See Matthew 25:1-13. 3Science and Health, p. 592. 4Psalms 23:5.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. Psalms 34:8,9