Bumper Sticker Lesson
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
One of the peripheral pleasures I find in visiting the United States is the fun of reading bumper stickers. I have often found myself laughing out loud at things like "Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?" and "Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else."
On a recent visit, however, I was saddened to read a sticker that asserted: "First the world was flat. Then it was round. Now it's crooked." This seemed to epitomize the cynical feelings widely shared these days. While only deliberate eccentrics may still believe in a world that is flat, there are all too many intelligent people who seem to feel the world is full of corruption, criminality, political shenanigans, sleaze, and hypocrisy
Yet, this is certainly not the world God made.
The true account of spiritual creation is recorded in the Holy Bible and concludes, "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:31). This creation is capable only of reflecting God. We reflect God in our lives when we express qualities such as charity, sincerity, honesty, mercy, and integrity.
Where does the opposite picture of a crooked world come from? From a false concept, from the erroneous notion that God knows both good and evil and that He gives us a choice between good and evil. When such beliefs are accepted, it's not too surprising that a world of selfishness, dishonesty, and misrule seems to exist. Such views have even led to doubt as to whether there actually is a God; if He cares or is in control; or if He existed at one time long ago but is now dead.
These possibilities were all proved untrue by a man who pointed out that grapes don't grow from thorns nor figs from thistles. Likewise, he showed that the infinite and eternal God does not produce anything that doesn't reflect His own goodness. Nor could God's creation, including you and me, stray from the initial perfection God gave us. This man, Christ Jesus - the Son of God - showed further that understanding these spiritual truths can bring about both moral regeneration and physical healing.
"Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures," a book by Mary Baker Eddy that elaborates on the healing method of Jesus, asserts: "The great truth in the Science of being, that the real man was, is, and ever shall be perfect, is incontrovertible; for if man is the image, reflection, of God, he is neither inverted nor subverted, but upright and Godlike" (Pg. 200).
An early opportunity to see the practicality of the Science Jesus taught, Christian Science, came to me while I was at university. Toward the end of an intercollege soccer game, I was knocked over, fell awkwardly, and severely sprained my left ankle. I made my way from the playing field as best I could, at the same time praying for myself. By that I mean I declared that God had given no intelligence, substance, or life to evil; thus that He had not created this accident or this injury.
Back in my room, I started to study Science and Health. I read this: "The understanding that the Ego is Mind, and that there is but one Mind or intelligence, begins at once to destroy the errors of mortal sense and to supply the truth of immortal sense. This understanding makes the body harmonious; it makes the nerves, bones, brain, etc., servants, instead of masters" (Pg. 216). I held to these statements as expressive of the absolute truth of my existence, despite the physical evidence of pain and swelling. And two days later I was walking with no trace of a limp.
In less than a week I played soccer again without any ill effects.
God is infinite Love. He is absolute Principle. The only Mind. We have directly from God the potential to express love, to show kindness to others, to feel genuine charitableness and forgiveness. This fills our lives with good, not evil. And a world in which we reflect God's nature can never be crooked.
Another, more positive bumper sticker I saw hinted at this: "God is not dead - I talked with Him this morning."
You can find other articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.