Are We Victims Of Circumstances?

RECENTLY a family member went around the house one evening smiling and laughing. She even remarked, "I don't know why I'm so happy. The very next day she felt unhappy, even tearful, and had what she called "the worst day of my life. Many of us have had similar experiences, which may leave us feeling that we go through our lives day by day with little control over events. We simply spend our time reacting to occurrences, people, even emotions, as we encounter them. But our lives don't have to be subject t o the whims of circumstances.

Obviously, given a choice, most of us would prefer to have days that are pleasant and joy-filled, rather than days that seem to swing randomly from happiness to sorrow and back again. Can our days be consistently filled with good, or do we have no control over what happens in them? Are we simply doomed always to react futilely to events? How can we improve our days and gain some measure of control over what happens in them?

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, says regarding the word day in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "The objects of time and sense disappear in the illumination of spiritual understanding, and Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded. This unfolding is God's day, and 'there shall be no night there.' Random evil certainly has no place in the day this describes.

The Bible records that Christ Jesus spent much time in quiet communion with God. Jesus had a humble willingness to turn to God for guidance in everything he did. This closeness to God enabled him to understand and obey God's will. His understanding of God's presence and power enabled Jesus to meet successfully the challenges he encountered each day with healing grace. We can follow his example and seek God's guidance, praying, in the words of the Psalmist: "Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. L ead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Then our days--and our lives--draw closer to God and to the good He gives His creation, man.

God, the all-knowing Mind, governs man, His spiritual image and likeness, intelligently, harmoniously, unerringly, unendingly. Mrs. Eddy states in Science and Health, "Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God's government. As we understand more fully that man is never separate from God's government, never separate from God's goodness, we begin to see His goodness more consistently in our lives.

We gain dominion over our days, then, as we see that God, good, is ordering them, as we listen for His direction in all that we do, as we come to have more faith in the reality of good than in evil. There, in truth, is no randomness, evil, or chance that can enter and disrupt our days. Only God's absolute government of events, unfolding good alone, can fill them.

As we begin to think of our days not as limited time periods or as something to be got through the best we can but as God's unfolding of good, we gain dominion over what goes on in our days. We begin to see that our days are not made up of random events that we are helpless to defend ourselves against, or of limited periods of time adding up to months and years. Rather we see that our days are patterned by unfolding good. In them we are complete, useful, happy, under the government of God.

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