HOW frequently nations and individuals find themselves in situations that seem hopeless, beyond their control. But there is a way to lift the burden of frustration and discouragement. There are solutions to the increasingly complex problems confronting us.
In the book of Exodus, the Bible gives us the First Commandment, ``Thou shalt have no other gods before me.'' This commandment provides us with a rich resource for coping with the challenges we face. Commenting on it, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``This me is Spirit.'' Further on, speaking of God as Mind, she continues, ``Having no other gods, turning to no other but the one perfect Mind to guide him, man is the likeness of God, pure and eternal, having that Mind which was also in Christ.'' Obedience to the First Commandment requires that we grow in our understanding of God as the one infinite Mind.
Christ Jesus demonstrated do-minion in every situation in which he found himself. The source of his power to heal was his understanding of his oneness or sonship with God. We have the freedom to be God-governed by following Jesus' example and having ``that Mind which was also in Christ.'' We can be alert to accept as our thinking only what comes from God.
Not long ago I found myself faced with a seemingly harmless but subtle form of domination. A relative asked me to run an errand for him at the last minute. However, his request was delivered more as a demand than as a request. At first I told myself that he had always been domineering and this was typical of his behavior. But as I thought about his request before answering, it became clear to me that to really love him, I would have to quit seeing him as being domineering and begin to see him as the humble expression of divine Mind.
With this as my motive, I declined his request. He was upset and his anger was apparent as we finished our conversation. When I hung up the telephone, I continued praying. Gradually, the domination that had intimidated me in the past no longer impressed me. A feeling of real joy flooded my thought as I realized that domination--because it was not a quality of the divine Mind, which man reflects--simply had no hold on my relative and could exercise no hold on me either. To my surprise, this relative later said he realized afterward how pushy he had been and was genuinely grateful to have had it brought to his attention. Since this experience our relationship has become more relaxed. It has less push-and-pull and more give-and-take.
What made this experience stand out for me wasn't just the freedom from being imposed upon or pushed around, but the sense of rightness that came from being guided and impelled by divine Love in even the smallest incidents of daily life. Even when things don't seem so small, there is always an answer that will bring healing and harmony when we turn to God and listen for His divine guidance. Mrs. Eddy points out in Science and Health: ``Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love.''
Imagine what our lives--and our world--would be like if we exercised this dominion more and more! The spiritual power resulting from obedience to the First Commandment can transform the seemingly insignificant details of our individual lives, as well as the complex issues facing nations, into opportunities for demonstrating our God-given dominion.