How Much Is All?
THE other day on my way home, I passed the grain mills that hug the river just as you get out into the countryside. When the grain trucks are loading and unloading, they often spill a sprinkling of seed. Opportunist pigeons hover to snatch up the spillage. On this particular day a truck had spilled a small mountain of corn, about a foot high. A dozen or more pigeons covered the entire pile and were pecking away furiously. I could see that they could be at it all day and not eat all of that corn -- it was probably more corn than they'd ever imagined they'd have access to. Yet I could also see that this pile of grain was just a minuscule part of what that huge truck had contained. What was a great quantity to the birds was a very small amount in the bigger picture. I suddenly caught a glimpse of myself as the bird in how I usually think about God's allness. What would to me be a lot of love or a great deal of mercy or plenty of goodness is like that foot-high hill of corn. If we're looking at life in limited, solely material terms, we can't even begin to conceive of the infinite capacities of God -- can't begin to imagine how much is ``all.''
Yet this message of God's allness is fundamental to an understanding of Deity. Throughout the Bible, from the book of Genesis at the beginning to the last chapter of the book of Revelation, God is shown to be the infinite creator, protector, healer, sustainer, provider.
In Isaiah we read: ``Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.''
Christ Jesus knew God as All. And he demonstrated God's allness when he fed multitudes, healed disease, and freed people from the bondage of sin. We read in the Gospel of Luke that Jesus assured his followers, ``Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.''
How would we live our lives if we really understood God to be All? Wouldn't we do things differently? For instance, if we're presented with an unexpected financial demand, we usually tend to try fearfully to figure out how we're going to juggle an already too small amount of money. But if we've really understood even a little of what ``God is All'' means, we'll confidently turn to the unlimited source -- God, divine Mind -- trusting that God's law of good will abundantly meet the demand. Our job is to trust God's care and to listen joyously and expectantly for His ideas to reveal the provision that is already available. We may be surprised at the way in which God's law operates to meet our needs!
Just the other day I realized our youngest daughter needed some additional items of clothing. I had been praying to see more of God's allness, so instead of thinking ``Oh no, another expense in the already overloaded budget,'' I thought, ``I'm glad to know what's needed, and I'm glad to know God's love has already provided a way to fill the need.''
Later that afternoon I came home to find a box of hand-me-downs in the middle of the living room floor. The box contained just the items needed. I thanked God for this evidence of timely care. And when I also thanked the friend who had given the items to us, she remarked that the box had been in storage for years and that she'd just felt impelled to get it to us that day.
While this was only a small incident, praying to acknowledge better and live more from the basis of God's allness can apply to every facet of our lives. If we need love and support in our lives, we can turn to infinite Love, God, and feel the tender care that God is continuously bestowing upon us. We may have to stop outlining how we want that love or support to be manifested and trust God's goodness to meet the needs; but when we do this -- when we shift our focus from limitation and lack to infinity and allness -- we'll see God's love expressed in very practical ways. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says of God in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul.''
Just think of it. If we understood God to be All, to be our Father-Mother, we'd approach our family lives with fearlessness and the certainty of good. If we understood God to be all intelligence we'd stop limiting our capacities for learning in any area. If we understood God as all good, we'd never accept as unavoidable, illness, accident, injury, poverty, war, crime, or sin.
How much is all? In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy tells us, ``Allness is the measure of the infinite, and nothing less can express God.'' God is All, and as His spiritual, perfect creation, man has complete access to God's abundance to meet every need.
The word that came to Jeremiah
from the Lord, saying...
Obey my voice, and do them,
according to all which I command you:
so shall ye be my people,
and I will be your God:
that I may perform the oath
which I have sworn unto your fathers,
to give them a land flowing
with milk and honey,
as it is this day.
Jeremiah 11:1, 4, 5