Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Notices posted in factory lunchrooms, grocery stores, and businesses of all sizes attempt to promote safety. They might announce, "It has been ___ days since an accident."
The goal of keeping such a track record is to remind people to follow safety rules and encourage them that they can do it. But this kind of scoring also implies that eventually an accident will happen; that we may not know when or how, but sooner or later the number on that poster inevitably will go down.
But there is not a moment when God is absent or not caring for us. This is a powerful fact. Since He is both all-powerful and all good, nothing bad, including an accident, has power. It does not even have reality. I have learned that God cares for us continuously. He never loses control. If we encounter an accident, we can reverse its effects by acknowledging God to be All and knowing that He has not left us uncared for - even for a moment.
A Bible story illustrates that the effects of an accident can be reversed. The event happened long ago, but has meaning today. Paul the Apostle was preaching in Troas, and he preached long into the night (see Acts 20:7-12). He was teaching about Christ Jesus and Christianity.
There was a young man listening to Paul who grew sleepy and fell down from the loft. He died from the fall. The Bible says, "And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him." The young man was healed - "brought ... alive."
Just what happened there? Healing through prayer. Paul understood, through the very teachings of Jesus he was preaching, that he did not have to accept that this young man had ever been separated from God's care ("his life is in him," he said). If Paul had agreed that accidents must have permanent, harmful effects, he would not have been able to heal the young man. But Paul obviously chose to disagree with the belief that an accident could kill that young man.
According to the Science of Christ, it was this very protest that brought the healing. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor, was herself healed through prayer alone of injuries sustained in a fall, which according to doctors were supposed to be fatal. This healing marked her discovery of Christian Science. On the subject of accidents, she would later write: "When an accident happens, you think or exclaim, 'I am hurt!' Your thought is more powerful than your words, more powerful than the accident itself, to make the injury real.
"Now reverse the process. Declare that you are not hurt and understand the reason why, and you will find the ensuing good effects to be in exact proportion to your disbelief in physics, and your fidelity to divine metaphysics, confidence in God as All, which the Scriptures declare Him to be" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 397). Mrs. Eddy, like Paul, was challenging the belief that accidents can injure or kill God's children. And she healed others of injuries through the truth of those words.
The confidence that God is All and the firm understanding that He is in control, an ever-present help, can reverse - and prevent - accidents. This would not be possible if they were real to God. Accidents seem less like solid realities as we perceive God's power more clearly.
One evening my husband and I were driving in rush-hour traffic on a five-lane freeway just south of Seattle. It was raining. When a tandem trailer truck lost control right ahead of us, we saw it sliding into a horizontal position across four lanes. We were headed directly into the side of one of the trailers.
I had just been praying, acknowledging God's control in my life, and I found myself stating out loud, confidently, three times, "God is in control!" My husband told me he lost all fear when he heard this. Things appeared to move in slow motion at that point; we both acknowledge this as the evidence of God's control. We stopped within inches of the truck, which had seemed impossible before. Behind us the cars were all lined up, five rows across. There were no collisions. This seemed somewhat impossible - unless you understand that God's love for all His children is so powerful that, when acknowledged, it cancels the supposed inevitability of accidents.
We can pray for zero accidents. God's plan for us includes only good.