Life Without Chance
HUMAN life seems to be based on chance--when and where we were born, who our parents were, circumstances beyond our control, income, and so forth. Can this really be the correct picture? If we accept that this is the real basis of life, it would mean that either there is no God or else He doesn't have a great deal of power to care for His children.
But there is another way of viewing life. An accurate one that we find in the Bible. It sees life as spiritual, as the very emanation of God, Spirit. This view is the exact opposite of the one that says man is just a creature of chance. It affirms that man is entirely good because he is made in God's image and likeness. It assures us that man is made by--and completely governed by--God. Christ Jesus consistently taught this view of man as created by God and showed how this view heals all kinds of ills.
If we view life from a material basis, it appears that there are whole segments of humanity that will never overcome insecurity, injustice, limitation. But in our hearts we know that this can't be the truth. If we've felt God's love for us even once in our own lives, we have some assurance that He does care for His children. The Bible teaches that God is good, that He is all-powerful, and that He loves His children. Because this is true, all individuals, families, and countries have God's care available to them.
Several years ago, while I was struggling with what seemed to me to be an overwhelming load of problems, I learned what it means to rely on God's care. I felt that I had acquired some very unattractive habits from my parents, who had learned them from their parents, and so on. And I could see no way to break this cycle of self-destructive thinking and behaving.
Even a heroic effort to change, I realized, would have minimal results if made as a member of a human family from the basis of identifying myself with a predisposition to undisciplined, self-destructive behavior. But as I prayed, it dawned on me, almost as though someone had turned on a light, that God would not create whole families doomed to lead limited, unsatisfying lives. I realized that I could do as the Bible urges in Isaiah: ``Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, t hat bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. I saw that it was God who calls me by my name, who identifies me. I am the child of God, am spiritual, created by Him to have dominion over all the earth. And this was true of everyone--including everyone in my family!
With this insight I resolved to reject all suggestions that these unattractive traits were inherent in my, or anyone's, nature. Instead, I would endeavor to affirm consistently and persistently the fact that my nature is the reflection of God's being. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``In Science man is the offspring of Spirit. The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry. His origin is not, like that of mortals,
in brute instinct, nor does he pass through material conditions prior to reaching intelligence. Spirit is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being.'' I realized that I don't have a history based on human parents and grandparents. My entire heritage is from God, and it's all good.
In the years since this realization came, there has been marked progress in many areas. Limitations of many kinds have been overcome. I've successfully held jobs I wouldn't have thought myself capable of before. And life has become a wonderful spiritual journey of progress and victory.