AS part of a college course, a teacher asked members of his class their astrological signs and then handed them cards with the supposed characteristics of their signs. After they had read their cards, he asked them how well the description fitted. Invariably, the majority said that it fitted perfectly. Then he told them that the only difference between the descriptions was the name of the sign printed on the card. He did this to show his students just how influenced they could be by expectations. Perhaps astrology and similar beliefs appeal by suggesting people are ``special.'' But the downside to this appeal is that when we identify ourselves with such systems, we tend to credit ``the stars'' with power over our lives. Do we really want to believe that the position of the planets and stars at our birth has influenced our past and present and will affect our future?
We don't have to be drawn into this hopeless cycle. We can turn from such fatalism to God to learn about who and what we are. The Bible speaks vigorously of the value of recognizing that power belongs to God. And Christ Jesus' ministry perfectly illustrates this point. The Master was able to heal the sick and even raise the dead because he understood that God loves His children and that they can never be separated from Him.
Instead of yielding our lives to the supposed control of uncaring stars, then, we can yield to the divine law of an all-loving and merciful God whose will for us, Christian Science shows, is only good. This Science is opposed to all forms of superstition and mysticism, as these words of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, indicate: ``The planets have no more power over man than over his Maker, since God governs the universe; but man, reflecting God's power, has dominion over all the earth and its hosts.''1
As we exercise this God-given dominion, it improves both our character and our bodies. For example, before I became a Christian Scientist, I learned that a certain astrological sign was believed to lead to knee trouble. I forgot this point until sometime later when I was plagued with knee difficulties.
As I was praying about these troubles, I recalled that information. Suddenly it became clear to me that I had accepted -- perhaps even expected -- that this difficulty would occur. I also realized through my new study of the Bible and Christian Science that I could give up this way of thinking about myself.
I was learning that as God's child, I was completely spiritual and subject only to Him. No stars or other superstitions could tell me what to do or be! In fact, it is God who governs the universe. The Psalmist put it best: ``When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him?'' He goes on to say, ``Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.''2
As I understood the spiritual dominion that is man's through God, I also began to see that God loves man perfectly. He knows His children only as His complete spiritual offspring. Within a short time the knee difficulties were completely gone.
Maybe trading astrological signs seems like a harmless indulgence. But isn't it more accurate to identify ourselves as children of God, who gives all good and only good? As we do this, we soon find that His love is a present, daily help. 1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 102. 2Psalms 8:3, 4, 6.