A Christian Science perspective.

I was nodding at the wheel after a long day of driving, looking for a motel to call it a night. Suddenly, I jolted awake as my car veered into the opposite lane. I crossed back just heartbeats before an oncoming car rose into sight on the brow of the hill and sped by me.

“Thank you, Father!” I prayed, grateful for the protection, which I attributed to God’s care. In my rearview mirror, I saw the other car vanish into the night, its occupants unaware they had narrowly avoided a head-on crash with a car whose driver had been asleep at the wheel.

That experience many years ago deepened my awakening understanding of God as our sleepless keeper. His blessings are so much more than we know or accept, more than can be counted.

Answered prayer is not just the positive product of a human plea. God’s grace is everywhere, always at hand to protect us, even when we don’t know we need protecting. As the Bible says, “[H]e that keepeth thee will not slumber” (Psalms 121:3). He doesn’t wait for us to ask for help. There is nothing that God, as divine Mind, needs to fix or needs to know, so we don’t need to give Him a laundry list of godly things to do.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote, “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).

We don’t need to begin prayer with a problem to be healed and then look to see why or where it came from. We can begin with God, who made all that was made. He didn’t make problems or direct danger to lurk at every turn. Healing comes when we understand that nothing apart from Him truly has power.

Early in her major work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mrs. Eddy asked: “Who would stand before a blackboard, and pray the principle of mathematics to solve the problem? The rule is already established, and it is our task to work out the solution. Shall we ask the divine Principle of all goodness to do His own work?” (p. 3).

We’re not hapless humans seeking heavenly harmony. We’re already blessed children of God. Jesus said, “[T]he kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21).

Another incident proving God’s care happened one evening after I’d left work. I was stuck behind a car whose driver was having trouble paying his parking fee. The garage attendant was training a new employee, and I began to resent the delay. I knew that my growing impatience wasn’t helping anyone. I realized that the attendant was serving a worthy cause, and, in a sense, serving God by helping a fellow worker learn a new job. Acknowledging this curbed my impatience, and soon I was on my way, refreshed by a new view of the situation.

Then, as I drove by the train station near our home, I saw my wife coming down the stairs from the platform. She had fallen asleep and missed the train stop where she’d parked her car that morning. My brief delay at the parking garage put me at the station at the very moment she was coming down the stairs, saving her a three-mile walk back to her car. In the grand scheme of things, this was a small incident. But to me it was an example of God’s unending care for us as His children, even as we sleep.

For a Korean translation of this article, see The Herald of Christian Science.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.