Never a drought of inspiration

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Across Northern California is a scattering of lakes, built to catch runoff from the winter snowfall and spring rains. These lakes provide more than flood control. The water nourishes nearby communities through the dry season - sometimes though a long string of dry seasons.

As a step in water conservation, the program is generally considered useful. But the pattern of lakes and holding tanks designed to get people through the dry season is not at all useful as a metaphor for inspiration. And we need inspiration to permanently solve a problem like drought.

Ultimately, this inspiration doesn't come from some environmental think tank. It derives from a higher source than the highest snow-covered slopes: the Almighty. The good that comes from God - including problem-solving inspiration - comes continuously. That's why inspiration never goes out of season, never runs dry.

The Bible suggests as much. The book of Isaiah, for example, says, "The Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not" (58:11). Divine inspiration is like waters that fail not. When we see in the Scriptures more than ancient poetry - when we see in them timeless spiritual insight - they point out meaningful solutions to today's problems.

But wait! What does the flow of divine inspiration have to do with the flow of water? Perhaps more than imagined. Consider, again, the Bible. It is sprinkled with accounts of individuals who, when facing burning dilemmas, turned to the Almighty for inspiration and found practical answers. Take one episode from the life of Moses. As he was leading the children of Israel through a desert region, there was no water for his people or their livestock. It became so critical that the people feared they'd die. And Moses feared they'd stone him first.

What did he do? The same thing he'd done countless times before. He turned to God for inspiration. What he was divinely guided to do seems almost preposterous ... except that it worked. God told Moses to take his rod, strike a certain rock with it, and watch the water come pouring out. Moses, and the people, were sustained by that spring in the desert.

What's valuable for us in this story is not the strike-a-rock-with-a-rod technique, but rather the pattern of thought - the turning to God, who is infinite Love. Love inspires in ways that lead to creative, unexpected answers. There's something profoundly unselfish, even loving, in what Moses did. After all, he didn't just fill his own canteen. Everyone's thirst was quenched.

The Love that inspired Moses is the same infinite Love we benefit from when we turn to it in prayer, turn to it for answers to our deepest concerns.

Mary Baker Eddy discovered that there is a science to divine Love - a consistent, workable law that lies behind a knowledge of God. It involves a love that expresses itself humanly but which emanates from God. And as we glimpse something of this love, we find inspiration flowing nonstop, unrestricted by mental droughts. We arrive more regularly at the perfect concept - the perfect solution for each problem.

A single gallon of water may do real good. Or it may be utterly wasted. The difference, often, is how much we love. So, too, a single inspired idea may impel someone to useful action - say, to invent a really efficient sprinkler. Or the idea may be ignored and utterly wasted. The difference is how much we love. If we love our family, our community, our planet, enough, and if we love inspiring solutions enough to put them into practice, we will take intelligent steps, such as making the best use of the water we now have. But we shouldn't be surprised if, as we follow that inspiration, we find drought-stricken places like Romania, Afghanistan, and Nebraska showered with more solutions. Maybe even showered, literally, with more water. God has a way of expressing Himself in forms that we humans can comprehend.

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