Years ago another family joined ours for dinner at home. At an opportune pause in a long and intricate discussion of the economy, one of our younger guests, scanning the room with wide eyes of genuine curiosity, chimed in with a question: “Daddy, where is the economy?”
Many are asking the same question, some with the widened eyes of fear resulting from forecasting and speculation. Articles related to the intertwining of economies, including “Europe’s Recovery comes to Near Halt” (The New York Times, Feb. 12), have been peppered with jittery language evoking images of potential discord and doom.
Referring to the economies of the world, and particularly eyeing Greece’s precarious status as it affects the European Union, I read these phrases: “recovery might be delayed,” “decline was across the board,” and “almost ground to a halt,” as well as words with similar tones, such as “dropped,” “down,” “lower,” – all describing unwieldy or unreliable growth and fragility.
We do not, however, have to stand before these reports and economic scenarios helplessly. One of the most encouraging phrases I’ve ever read appears in the textbook of Christian Science: “good is not helpless” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 207). The full sentence that this phrase appears in says, "Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless; nor are the so-called laws of matter primary, and the law of Spirit secondary.” And a balanced, orderly, and prosperous economy is good. Cooperative relations, including mutual appreciation between nations, are also good.
It’s reasonable that fear, dark foreboding, and even suspicion, do not provide a productive platform from which to consider progressive and perhaps creative steps to be taken in regulating and correcting economic issues or in handling relationships between countries. Calm and discernment, a willingness to look below the surface effects, reactions, and events, are more useful. Just as fish in the sea, when sensing agitation on the ocean’s surface, head down deeper, we, too, can go deeper in spiritual understanding and prayer.
Realizing economic and political stability requires wisdom. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, understood God to be a practical help and guide in every aspect of life. She wrote in the initial pages of Science and Health, “God is not separate from the wisdom He bestows” (p. 6). In seeking out stability, to go deeper is to go right to the source of wisdom, the divine Mind, or God.
In the book of Hebrews, God is described as “he that built all things” (3:4). In Genesis, Chapter 1, it is clear that all the things God made are good, spiritual, and intended to prosper. In fact, graceful, orderly growth, including harmony, is the very essence of His nature. Growth, considered spiritually, is not erratic, fitful, or mindless. It is the outcome and activity of God Himself, divine Principle. As such, it is kind, balanced, graceful, and reliable. In an article on the topic of purpose, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Growth is governed by intelligence; by the active, all-wise, law-creating, law-disciplining, law-abiding Principle, God” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896,” p. 206).
With divine law underpinning growth and stability, we can prayerfully and attentively watch God’s hand support every step of progress, and not be derailed or discouraged if there appear to be signs of disturbance as progress is under way. It is true that even a small flower rising to the light causes the earth to adjust. We can keep a spiritual, even a celestial, viewpoint that expresses the perspective of the divine Mind, which knows its own purpose and is confident in its own power and order.
In our prayers for the condition of the world, we can maintain in thought the sure, steady basis that it is God who provides and prevails. Then we can watch His law of balance and order – divine stability – calm the waters, bringing about in human affairs the very security that is already established by divine law. We can join daily in Christ Jesus’ prayer, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” – and in the spiritual sense of his prayer, “Enable us to know, – as in heaven, so on earth, – God is omnipotent, supreme” (Science and Health, p. 17).