My 4-year-old grandson continually astonishes me with his comments that not only delight me but inevitably lead my thought to new heights. This summer was no exception.
He was visiting with his mom and new stepfather, and I was enjoying supporting a creative system they have in place to help incorporate the new stepfather into the decisionmaking and disciplining roles. They alternate weeks being the "bottom line" for his needs, so my grandson knows each week which parent he must go to for permission for any requests. One day he came to me and asked, "Grammy, can I have a cookie?"
"Honey, I'm not the bottom line this week since your parents are here. You'd better go ask your stepfather," I said.
"But Grammy," he said with absolute assurance, "You're the top line!"
His certainty of my authority in this matter of cookies was clear. He was confident that as far as passing out the snacks from my kitchen, no one else could know better than I if he was allowed to have a cookie.
So, I made an executive decision, and he did get a cookie. But his comment about the top line inspired within me great joy in contemplating God as the universal top line.
So often I've needed to turn to a sense of spiritual authority to solve problems or navigate the shoals of difficulties.
There are plenty of people and circumstances in our day-to-day lives that vie for "bottom-line" status - physical laws of cause and effect, time, space, accident, human emotions, family ties, and fears.
And when the complications and negative demands of these bottom-line sources overwhelm me with fear, limitations, or strife, I find myself turning to my top line, God, who I know is the supreme authority in all cases.
The Bible is assuring: "Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all" (I Chron. 29:11).
The supremacy of God is like an overarching football pass that goes above the heads of all the opposition and finds its receiver for a scoring touchdown. Better yet, God's supremacy is like going on a trip by air and therefore having no need for road maps of the best route with construction zones marked. Referring to God's authority, the divine viewpoint, lifts us up above the entanglements and complications of human circumstances and finds the harmony of His dominion.
Just after the my grandson's family visited me, a new baby arrived in their family. The birth gave me a perfect opportunity to practice yielding to God's top-line authority.
My daughter went into labor a couple of weeks early, and the physician who was to deliver the baby was out of town. There were a number of other complications in the logistics of the situation that were completely out of my control, and I had to pray diligently to eliminate numerous fears for my new little grandchild and for my daughter and her family.
I thought back to my grandson's comment and appealed to my top line, God, and right there in the middle of the night, I felt a soaring sense of joy and peace in the assurance that God is in control and governing everyone's thinking and gives each one the direction and guidance needed. That's exactly what occurred.
Our new little grandson arrived in perfect safety and care, and I was so grateful for the wisdom and grace expressed by all involved. His older brother's response to the arrival was, "Yes! I got what I wanted - a brother."
So now I'll have two cookie-eaters to be the top line for, and God will continue to be the top line for all of us.
There is divine authority
for believing in the superiority
of spiritual power
over material resistance.
Mary Baker Eddy
(founder of the Monitor)