Russia's quest for a leader

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

Russians will head to the polls on Sunday, and surveys show that most of them are looking for a strong leader who will maintain the stability and prosperity they have enjoyed during President Vladimir Putin's two terms (see story).

Meanwhile, as US candidates campaign in the hotly contested primaries, voters are asking hard questions about who will improve the economy, protect the country against terrorist attacks, and best represent the US on the international scene.

What people throughout history have desired from leaders – safety, supply, comfort, dignity – are wonderful, noble qualities for any nation to aspire to. But choosing among candidates isn't always easy. Sometimes citizens can become so enthralled by a candidate's compelling personality that their decisions are based more on charismatic influence than informed reasoning.

But the lively intelligence and activity that an understanding of God's spiritual government can bring antidotes such magnetic influences. The divine order is really the basis for all true, inspired government, and through it, individual leaders can accomplish much good for their people. In fact, spirituality is the only way that true protection and freedom can be available to all people all the time.

No human being can provide the kind of unerring government, overflowing abundance, ever-ready assurance, and knowledge of spiritual dominion that God is constantly imparting to His children – each one of us, in every country. As Mary Baker Eddy's interpretation of the Lord's Prayer affirms, God's kingdom is come – it's already here, already upholding the highest possible standard of government (see "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pp. 16-17).

The 91st Psalm so beautifully brings out the permanent dwelling we each have within the protecting arms of our Father-Mother Love, where the burdensome fears of economic crisis, terrorist attacks, crime, and poverty fade away.

Enumerating the evils that cannot touch those who seek God's sheltering presence, it explains why: "Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."

Expounding on that last statement, Mary Baker Eddy – who founded this newspaper and Christian Science – wrote: "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," p. 307).

And certainly God does know our needs – and meets them. In the Bible's account of the Hebrews' slavery to Pharaoh, God said, "I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians … " (Ex. 3:7, 8). And He did – parting the Red Sea so Moses could lead them to the Promised Land.

Whatever a people's affliction might be, they can be assured that God will guide them out of it. Through prayer, humility, and trust, they can discover the infinite blessings He is providing for them. And that brings not only the freedoms democracy offers, but also freedom from disease, stress, financial problems, relationship difficulties – individually and in our nations as well.

God has instilled in each of us a natural attraction toward good. As Russia prepares for elections on Sunday, God is impelling us to hold in thought His power and love as supreme, universal, and unimpeachable – and to support the election in that spirit.

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