AS the American presidential election approaches, many may still have doubts about whom to vote for and perhaps even wonder if it makes any difference. While the political scene -- and life itself, for that matter -- may present challenges that have far from clear-cut answers, our view of Election Day and the consequent action we take can make a big difference for the better -- when we approach the issue through prayer. Prayer isn't some vague activity that has little connection with reality. It can be a powerful force for good if we can see more clearly what its purpose is.
Our communion with God isn't intended just to make us feel more comfortable. It isn't intended to enable us to glide over the issues or mentally to wrap troubles up in a neat little package and put them out of thought. Rather, our communion with our creator enables us to discern His wise direction and to take the most appropriate steps under the circumstances. Prayer brings us closer to the source of all wisdom so that we can see more clearly what we may not have seen before, perceive what may be hidden to a superficial sense of things. And this, clearly, is of great value, whether we're considering a national election or pondering the next step to take in our own lives.
The need is to be mentally still long enough to see beyond the surface commotion, beyond conflicting opinions and personalities, to God's wise control of His creation and to the eternal reality of His intelligent government. A vital point in this, however, is that God's creation isn't the enigmatic conglomeration of good and evil it appears to be. It's the indestructible spiritual reality of being, the ``very good'' creation referred to in the Bible's first chapter. Prayer that acknowledges the true nature of existence and humbly listens for God's intuitions enables us to see something of divine reality expressed in our lives. It enables us to see the best course to follow, even when human reasoning or ``the way things are'' would have us go in another direction.
It's important, even beyond the vital question of whom to elect, that we learn more about God's government of man. It appears as though man governs man and that we're all pretty much at the mercy of either human wisdom or human folly. But there's a higher view to be gained and proved -- a higher view of God and man.
From the Bible we can learn that God is good and that the man of His creating expresses His nature. Because this is the actual, ultimate fact, the spiritual reality of existence, the wrongs we see in government and in individual lives can progressively be overcome. The spiritual reality of God's infinite goodness and perfect government can and must increasingly be brought to light on an individual basis through prayer and through purification of thought.
A better government, in whatever part of the world we may want to see it, is inevitably forwarded by a greater individual commitment to the moral and spiritual qualities that represent God's government, qualities such as purity, honesty, compassion, spiritual strength, wisdom. The Bible says, ``The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.''1 But the Scriptures also show us that we have a responsibility to acknowledge His government and live in harmony with it. As Christ Jesus taught, ``Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.''2
Striving each day to express more of the divine nature is a natural and potent way to support humanity's progress and more enlightened government on a worldwide scale. And underlying our efforts is the inescapable spiritual fact that man -- everyone's true, original being -- is God's image, under His perfect, loving government. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states, ``Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God's government.''3 This is the concrete, practical, divine reality to be recognized and increasingly proved. It's a sure basis for hope as we cast our ballots on Election Day.
1Isaiah 33:22. 2Matthew 5:48. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 393.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5,6