I don’t like waiting. But I used to do a lot of it.
I’m not talking about waiting in line at the grocery store. I’m talking about the kind of waiting that I saw all my friends doing – waiting for that golden day when I had more money, or more stability. I was chasing that elusive “more” like my life depended upon it, until I got the message that I don’t need more of anything.
It’s not that I’m embracing some ascetic lifestyle. Actually, what I’ve embraced are the teachings of Christian Science in all of their power and promise.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, called her primary work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” a “key to the Scriptures” for a reason. It unlocks the transformative message of the Bible – specifically the central fact that God, being Spirit and the sole creator, created us spiritually to reflect Him in all of His completeness and glory. To be one with Him: dwelling in the presence of all that He is – namely, supreme good.
The understanding of this ever-present good was a key piece of Christ Jesus’ ministry. Jesus knew that what others saw as lack – be it illness, dire need, even death – was a misperception of the nature of God and man. There could be no boundary to infinite good. There could be no separation between divine Love and its beloved.
At times, this was difficult for those around him, including his disciples, to grasp. When faced with hungry multitudes, Jesus’ closest followers despaired at the idea of feeding them – especially with a mere five loaves and a few small fish. Jesus’ singular perception of the allness of good, however, lifted not just his disciples, but also the entire crowd of thousands, out of the limited mind-set that saw only the need for more. Jesus thanked God, then instructed the disciples to hand out the food to the crowds. And when everyone ate, they ate to their fill – and there was even food left over (see Matthew 14:14-21).
What was going on in Jesus’ moment of gratitude? I’ve come to see it as an acknowledgment that “more” never needs to be part of our vocabulary. “More” suggests the need for an intervention – for God to get on the job where He wasn’t before. But where in God’s completeness, in His utter, unlimited goodness, could lack ever find a foothold? In the allness of good, which is where we live eternally, there is enough good, abundant good, every moment.
That potent idea freed me from the shackles of “more.” Facing a sudden financial need, I felt panicked, then resentful that perhaps someday I would find myself in a more stable position. Maybe when my business took off. Maybe when I had more freelance gigs. Then this arresting thought hit me: “You will never have any more good than you have right now.”
At first, I didn’t understand: Was I doomed to live a life of scrabbling after every dollar? But then the beauty of that message from God sank in: I would never have any more good, because God created me to enjoy all of His goodness right now. Good was, in fact, the substance of my universe. I didn’t need to do anything to bring it into my life. Good, being God, was my Life. And because this is true, not only was I in the presence of all good right now, but being eternally in the presence of good also meant that there was nothing I could do to deplete this good. Good is as eternal and unchangeable as God is.
In a sweet coda, shortly after this realization I was offered a significant freelance gig that more than met my needs. But the larger lesson is the abiding peace I feel now that I know I don’t ever have to wait, or ask, for more – and that none of us do.
Here’s that same tender promise in Mrs. Eddy’s words: “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. What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have. This sweet assurance is the ‘Peace, be still’ to all human fears, to suffering of every sort” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 307).