I could be characterized as belonging to a demographic group that has been described as highly mobile. People in this group often switch jobs, move, and exchange singlehood for marriage and vice versa. With these frequent changes in people’s lives, it’s no wonder that there is also a deep-seated interest in finding spiritual direction. To find this spiritual guidance and stability, many people feel that it’s natural to look to God. The Psalmist addressed his plea for direction to God: “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me” (Psalm 43:3). Who couldn’t use more light when faced with yet another change or decision?
Light in the Bible is often a metaphor for the omniscience of God, the divine Mind. When we turn to divine Mind for direction, we are asking for wisdom that is not shortsighted, but is the judgment and wisdom of all-knowing God.
Don’t we sometimes think that God needs to be conscious of the tiny details of our problems? In fact, divine Mind doesn’t need to know about our circumstances in order to bring direction and clearer purpose to our lives. God knows all that is true of us as His spiritual reflection. His children are not mortals in need of rescuing; otherwise God could not be of more help than a well-meaning friend. All-knowing Mind has made us to reflect intelligence and perfection. The light of God – or the truth of God – is unerring in guiding us because of this spiritual fact.
In order to find Mind’s wisdom in our lives, however, we must choose it over other influences in society. One of those pervasive influences of the human mind that we need to resist is the push to do what society in general is doing.
In my own life I always used to think that change was good. After college I had one job after another. When I finally got a job that looked like a good long term career, I was very happy. But after for two years, restlessness started gnawing at me.
I might not have stuck with the job if I hadn’t started praying. Prayer helped me get a clearer picture of what was really going on. Was I truly ready for another change? Or was I simply feeling the push of outside influences? The longer I prayed, the more I felt I should resist the pressure just to do what lots of other people were doing: changing jobs. I didn’t have to become another job statistic for my age bracket. Turning to God in prayer for direction helped me to see that the restlessness I was feeling was not my own inner leadings. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains man’s responsiveness to God’s guidance as the influence of Christ. She puts it this way in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Having no other gods, turning to no other but the one perfect Mind to guide him, man is the likeness of God, pure and eternal, having that Mind which was also in Christ” (p. 467).
When the omniscience of divine Mind, God, is what we turn to, we are not expecting advice on what to do, but we are recognizing the spiritual truth that man expresses – the perception and intelligence of his creator. The big question is not “Which path do I take?” but “What will be directing and guiding me?” Is it various trends, general opinions, fashions, and tastes? Or are we confident that God guides man and gives him peace and stability?
Although the facts and figures that chart the large trends of a populace may mirror a changing society, the changes don’t have to be disruptive or destabilizing to our lives. The wisdom and judgment we need are part of our God-given heritage. And the guidance of God sheds light on the scene, giving us sure direction.
Reprinted from the July 10, 1991, issue of The Christian Science Monitor.