There’s the story of a fellow on a first date who can’t stop talking about himself – what he’s done, what he likes and doesn’t like. Finally, he stops and says, “So, what do you think about me?”
That kind of self-absorption does not lead to happiness. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, wrote that happiness by its very nature requires real sharing: “Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 57).
And what about other spiritual qualities – do they require sharing? Joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – the spiritual qualities recommended in the New Testament (Galatians 5:22, 23, Amplified Bible) – are qualities that cry out for real interactions with others. When we find concrete ways of sharing these qualities, we experience the presence and power of Love (a biblical name for God), which they embody.
We’ve all seen how catastrophe can bring out extraordinary kindness in strangers, even heroic goodness, as people share what they have. I had a chance to see how everyday sharing of resources and services brings valuable blessings to everyone involved.
Our family was moving across country. We had very young children and didn’t want to spend days driving over the mountains and through the desert to our new home, so we decided to have someone drive our car while our family flew there.
We couldn’t afford to pay someone to drive our car, but we thought someone would want to use it for transportation. We advertised, but nobody responded. Day followed day until it was almost time to leave.
That’s when I sat down to pray. I stepped back from our situation to recognize that Love’s universe was a much bigger picture with more parts working together than I could imagine. I realized that all these parts, all these individual interests, were under Love’s control and were operating in harmony. I thought about the phenomenon that Mrs. Eddy observed: “In the scientific relation of God to man, we find that whatever blesses one blesses all ... Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply” (Science and Health, p. 206).
It wasn’t up to me to figure out just how it would work, or who would complete the picture. But I could affirm that Spirit (another biblical name for God) was providing the intelligence that would activate the blessings we were expecting.
That’s when we got the call from a guy who apologized at first for calling, because our listing that he’d just come across had been around so long that he was sure we’d already found someone to drive our car out.
We got only that one call, but that was the only one we needed. Our driver was ready to go – he had just needed some way to travel. It wasn’t long afterward that we met the car and driver in our new hometown. As is so often the case when we are depending on Spirit’s supply, the blessings were shared.