WHEN unplanned events occur, we may attribute them to coincidence. It could be by chance, we feel, that while we're waiting (for a long time) to get the car fixed, we find that a friend is there also and the wait turns out to be enjoyable. Or, on the other hand, we may encounter an accident that was not enjoyable. It seems as though we can never know what to expect. Or can we?
If we're starting from the basis that man is material, created by mortals, and lives in a world of chance, we don't leave much room for certainty or assurance. But when we correctly start from the basis that God is the only creator and that He made man--made us--and lovingly directs our action, this gives us a realistic foundation for hope and an expectancy of good.
The Bible describes God as Spirit and tells us that man is made in His likeness. The image of Spirit is spiritual man, who comprehends and expresses God. We can also understand God to be infinite Mind, with man as His idea. Mind, God, governs His entire creation wisely, and all of His creation must reflect His nature. The creation of infinite Mind is well planned, correct in every detail, empowered to manifest His attributes of joy, peace, strength, and health. And we, in our true identity, are His creat ion.
A Bible passage from Deuteronomy meant a great deal to me years ago and still inspires me. It reads: ``And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field." Here's one reason it's so special to me. One winter I was moving land, leveling a field, with a very large tractor pulling a twelve-yard scraper. Daily I checked and replenished the fuel and oil as needed.
One day, however, after several hours of work a strong thought impelled me to turn off the tractor and check the engine. All the gauges indicated normal operation, and the tractor was running smoothly. And usually I would leave the engine idling to check for oil leaks or other problems. This calm directive in thought was so firm that I knew it needed to be ``hearkened unto", as the Bible puts it.
I did turn off the engine. After walking around the tractor, I found that all but one bolt had been broken off the yoke that connects the drive shaft to the transmission. Needless to say, I did not turn the engine back on, and it was repaired with no harm to the tractor, me, or anyone else.
This brought to mind a sentence from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She writes: ``Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God's unerring direction and thus bring out harmony." Leaving the limited basis of human opinion that the tractor was running fine, and heeding the thought th at our creator could only have a well-planned, obedient creation, kept us all safe from harm.
God wasn't aware of drive shafts and bolts, and I didn't need to know all about them either. But I did need to be responsive to the fact that God is my source of accuracy and skill. I had been making an effort to express these qualities at work and to know that the outcome would reflect God's orderly nature, whether it was in the form of properly moved land or blessings ``in the field." As children of God, the Bible tells us, not only can we ``hearken" unto His voice and obey it, but we can also expect t o receive the blessings He gives.