Different Standpoints

Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.

I was off to a three-day gathering of jazz musicians. This meant driving on the freeway for several hours. When my neighbor heard about it, she expressed her wishes for my safety. As I considered this, I realized that although we were next-door neighbors, we were miles apart on this subject! We were considering safety from totally different standpoints.

Widespread focus on danger implies it is a normal and unavoidable part of everyday life. While I am aware of this viewpoint, I do not consider danger normal; I have learned through Christian Science that we have the option of proving that safety is a law of God.

It is no wonder there is a search for something more secure and satisfying than a life at risk. And it can be found. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is a book dealing specifically with indestructible Life. This book, written in 1875 by Mary Baker Eddy, says: "To grasp the reality and order of being in its Science, you must begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is" (p. 275).

God is eternal Life. Recognizing Him as being in control of existence has the effect of bringing the nature of good into human lives. Through my daily prayer and study of Christian Science, I have proved that understanding God as the one divine Principle of existence is useful to my life. I am learning how to trust God to keep me and everyone around me safe, healthy, and happy.

Everyone may not use the same name for God; and not everyone has the same idea of His nature. However, there is almost universal acceptance of the idea that God is. According to the book of Jeremiah in the Bible, God says, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people" (31:33). This truth applies to everyone.

The Bible records instances of people protected as the result of trusting their lives to God. One of the Ten Commandments promises that as we honor our Father (God), our "days may be long upon the land" which God gives us (Exodus 20:12). Important to any real estate is its location; so, where is this spiritual "land," or atmosphere, given to us by our Father? How can we find it and live in it? As Jeremiah said, it's in our "inward parts"-in our "hearts."

There's a story in the Bible about a man named Caleb, whom Moses sent to inspect some desirable land-the land of Canaan (see Numbers, chap. 13). It had been promised to Caleb's tribe as an inheritance. He and other people looked over the land from end to end, and everyone agreed that it was a good land that flowed "with milk and honey." But the land was also full of danger they said-giants lived there. Most were completely intimidated. But Caleb wasn't; he reported that his people were well able to take possession of this land. Here people were considering things from two totally different standpoints. So Caleb was voted down. It wasn't until years later that they found that land again-the land they could have had all along.

Caleb obviously had the conviction that good things such as security were available to him from God, and it seems likely that this was because he understood the nature of God. Perhaps Caleb had caught sight of the fact that God was giving His people the intelligence and strength to cope with fear and danger successfully.

Caleb can be seen to represent the knowledge that hope and a sense of security come from within, through the attainment of spiritual understanding. Here, then, is that land worth possessing-"the kingdom of God" that Christ Jesus, the Son of God, would later identify as "within" each of us (see Luke 17:21). Here is the promised land. It is really a mental point of dominion and understanding and it prevails over the giants of fear.

We conquer doom and gloom when we no longer think of ourselves as helpless. When we are faced with danger, perhaps unexpected, the demand is for spiritual strength, with which we are able to meet it intelligently, understanding that God is good, the Principle of existence, and that God's law is right at hand. By leaps and bounds, or bit by bit, we can gain confidence that everyday life is more progressive and harmonious with God's law in our hearts.

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