More than Good Fortune
Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.
Have you ever had one of those days when everything went right, better than you ever would have imagined? Have you ever wondered why, without any apparent reason, some days are just better than others? I had one of those great days recently, and it prompted me to search out the reason behind it.
It's tempting, when things go right, to call it "fortuitous." But I credit God with maintaining perfect order. Fortuitous implies chance or accidental occurrence, and perhaps that no cause is involved. This is entirely the opposite of the concept that God is in complete control, maintaining and advancing His creation. Biblical history illustrates God's control of all creation. This history, especially the life of Christ Jesus, revealed the practical healing truth to Mary Baker Eddy. She named it Christian Science. Study of Christian Science has led me to know God better and to accept good as real and normal.
Many Bible figures who knew God were blessed, even when circumstances predicted otherwise. Joseph listened to God and obeyed Him, even though he was a victim of his brothers' jealousy. Joseph was sold into slavery and later falsely accused, but through obedience to God he was freed from these circumstances. Through his allegiance to God, he saved Egypt and other nations from hunger (see Genesis, chaps. 41-46). Joseph was carrying out God's plan, which benefited all. Chance was not then, and never will be, a part of God's plan.
Fortune allows that circumstances can be accidental. Mary Baker Eddy, in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, wrote, "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" (p. 424). What is "God's unerring direction" for you? Christian Science says it lies in the understanding that you are completely cared for, loved, in your right place at all times, safe. Instead of accepting that you just happen to be in the right place at the right time, you can understand that God is always guiding you to be where you need to be when you need to be there. God is never separate from His creation, so you must always be under God's control. Keeping this in thought removes any factor of chance from daily activities. It protects from danger. Trusting God is trusting good.
On my "great day" our family had been doing some back-country driving. We didn't know our vehicle had a malfunctioning fuel gauge. At one point my husband felt we should turn around right then and drive to the nearest gas station, which was over sixty miles away. Had we not, we would have run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. After refueling, we arrived at a locked gate precisely in time to be let through. Five minutes earlier or later and we would have been turned back. We hadn't even known the gate would be locked when we started for it. We were able to do everything we wanted to do and saw some beautiful country. To me, it was an example of listening to God and obeying His commands.
Had I prayed specifically not to run out of gas or that we'd get to see particular back-country sites? No. But I had specifically sought to obey God. I had adopted a "project" of trying to live a more Christlike life -- that is, throughout the week, I was specifically asking myself what Jesus would have done if he had been in my position. I tried to act in accord with his example; this is practicing Christian Science.
From this experience I learned that we must always give God the glory for the good things in our lives, by recognizing Him as creating the universe good and maintaining it so. It was both humbling and exhilarating for me to recall the events of that day and realize that I couldn't take credit for any of its successes. It was clear to me that God's law of good had been in control.
God is the only cause. He only causes good. We are never at the mercy of chance happenings, good or bad.