I LIVE in New England, where fishing and oceangoing vessels are common. Charts that help mariners navigate through the dangerous waters are essential. But even landlubbers like me need to know how to navigate through our lives. And well over a hundred years ago, a book was written that provides guidance for anyone who is willing to love and study the Bible. That book is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Church of Christ, Scientist.
That textbook of Christian Science came into my life when my quest for God and for an understanding of His law was becoming increasingly urgent. I had always believed in God and loved Christ Jesus. Yet so much about God seemed unexplainable and unexplained. When a friend gave me a copy of Science and Health, I had at last found the peace and the answers I needed.
The unshakable unity of God, or divine Mind, and man as His idea is hinted at in Christ Jesus' statement ``I and my Father are one'' (John 10:30). But it wasn't until I had read Science and Health that I began to understand that the spiritual nature Jesus illustrated by his healing works was actually true for everyone. As my knowledge of God grew, I found my health improving, my work becoming more productive and satisfying.
Let me share the impact on my life of just one sentence from this book. After I had been studying Christian Science for a while, I was accepted for a two-week course of instruction that I felt would help me to reach out more to the world. Yet as the time approached, the money for accommodations was lacking. Confusion and fear weighed heavily on me.
Then one morning I came across this sentence in Science and Health: ``The divine Principle of the universe must interpret the universe'' (p. 272). With a flash of insight, I realized that God, divine Principle, knows only His own abundance and goodness--and that these were freely poured out to all of us. There was no way that I could lack anything I needed. In less than an hour, a woman who knew me only through a mutual friend telephoned. She was going to be away and offered me the use of her apartment for the whole two weeks. I gratefully accepted!
Many years later, I was surrounded by the turmoil that follows the passing of a parent. Old angers in the family--and a few new ones--rivalry, fear, and confusion seemed to be present on all sides. As I prayed urgently to know divine Principle's leading--its interpretation, we might say--I found that making decisions was easier. My own sorrows, fears, and angers also lifted as I saw more clearly than ever that Jesus' promise of eternal life is meant for all of us.
Years after that, I was working in a place where suddenly more than two hundred people were being laid off. The whole enterprise was changing form, and the future of the unit I headed was unclear. Yet each day, I would look not for my interpretation of events but for what God was knowing--the harmony and peace of His universe present and discernible. That one statement from Science and Health kept me looking for the presence of Truth, God, and as I did this, my unit remained intact.
These are just a few of the ways that one sentence from Science and Health--``The divine Principle of the universe must interpret the universe''--changed my life. There are literally thousands of ways the book can speak to any one of us and enable us to perceive the blessings that the Scriptures hold for us. Read it--and you'll find out what it will say to you!