Defending Earth from asteroids

A Christian Science perspective.

Does this topic make Hollywood screenwriters drool, or what? While it sounds like science fiction (and has figured into the story line of any number of Hollywood hits), it is now science without the fiction. Right now, asteroids are hurtling through space. Some of them may be on a collision course with a neighborhood near you. Can the collision be avoided? What can you – or any of us – do to avoid the collision? It used to be understandable when scientific experts in this field minimized such possibilities as so unlikely they didn't warrant attention.

Then, last February happened. A meteor about 56 feet in diameter suddenly streamed across the sky at 34,000 miles per hour and exploded 20 miles above Chelyabinsk, Russia. There could be no more hiding from the issue. It had to be addressed. The United Nations swung into action. It recently formed the International Asteroid Warning Group (CSMonitor.com, Oct. 29). It will serve primarily as a clearinghouse of information. Additionally, if all goes well, the UN will have its own spaceship with its own eye in the sky – its own space telescope, come 2017.

Whether you are an asteroid expert or simply a person who cares, you can weigh in on the side of spiritual problem-solving. That will change, to a degree, the mental environment, and make it possible for experts to unearth the best options. Consider a psalm. Could it help us find planet-saving answers? Absolutely! "If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me" (Psalms 139:8-10).

God is here. The Mind of all is present. He is with you in heaven above, in the sweetest of conditions. He is under you in the most hellish of settings. He is hand in hand with you. In fact, you are actually at one with God, inseparable from His goodness, and endlessly so, even when you feel utterly lost. This law, or Science of His presence, changes everything. Understanding this law, you can draw on His clear insight.

If you are at all like me, you may picture the human solution to the asteroid threat as slamming a nuclear device into the space rock and blowing it to bits. While that is one possibility, inspired thought that draws on the creative Mind as its source can uncover innumerable inspiring options. For example, methods of deflection being considered include "wrapping the asteroid in a sheet of reflective plastic such as aluminised clingfilm, which will act as a solar sail" (Wired [UK]), Oct. 28).

Is this pinning our hopes for survival on some really big rolls of tinfoil? In truth, it may be one outside-the-box option to consider. The Mind that is God naturally uncovers practical ideas. Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote this in her primary work: "Mind's control over the universe, including man, is no longer an open question, but is demonstrable Science" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 171). Realize this truth, and it can't help cracking open the door of consciousness to new possibilities.

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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.”

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