Progress – it’s natural!
A Christian Science perspective: God’s goodness can’t be limited or obstructed.
—I was in my 20s. A friend and mentor patiently listened to my concerns about my life. When I was finished, he said with calm conviction, “Sounds like you are ready for a promotion.” At first I thought my friend was talking about my work getting better. But he was speaking of something much deeper.
Later I found this Bible verse: “For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God” (Psalms 75:6, 7, Living Bible). Digging deeper, I discovered that one interpretation of the Hebrew root for “promotion” includes “to rise” or “to lift.” This helped me see that true promotion – growth or progress – is not only a going forward but a lifting of thought to spiritual reality, the supreme and only reality. I realized that this was what my friend was suggesting I needed to do.
This reality includes the unstoppable activity of infinite good, which is absolutely fundamental to God’s nature. As the deeply cared for children of God, divine Love itself, we inherently include and express God’s goodness. This is our true, spiritual identity and individuality. Through prayer to better understand this fact, the forward and upward movement of good comes to light more fully, bringing freshness and newness to human endeavors. We come to see that progress is natural for each of us.
We can see examples of this throughout the Bible. For instance, Moses’ growing understanding of God as the only power and presence enabled him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to freedom, and to help them turn from the idol worship, which constantly tried to prevent them going forward, to the worship of the one and only God. Above all, the healing and teaching of Christ Jesus advanced the thought of his time – and is still doing so today – by revealing that the kingdom of heaven, the activity of good, is here right now, evidenced in healing and lives transformed.
Many years ago, over a period of several weeks, pain and stiffness in my back and neck restricted my movement. Along with this, I felt a palpable sense of decline and mental stagnation. I began to pray, acknowledging God as the only true cause, governing through the law of infinite good. This means that each of us, as God’s wholly spiritual image, is constituted of and governed by this spiritual law, without a single limitation or restriction.
One day, as I was reading “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, I found sudden inspiration in this sentence: “Even Shakespeare’s poetry pictures age as infancy, as helplessness and decadence, instead of assigning to man the everlasting grandeur and immortality of development, power, and prestige” (p. 244).
The phrase “immortality of development” jumped off the page, and immediately my thought rose to a more spiritual base. I saw that the continuous unfolding of good is part of God’s changeless, imperishable government. And it was governing me right then! Chance, limitation, and obstruction are never inevitable, because they are not part of God’s all-encompassing reign and presence.
I felt the pain draining away, and it was soon completely gone – as was the sense of stagnation. A weight had been lifted from me, mentally and physically.
Acknowledging through prayer the uninterrupted activity of the infinitude of good quiets fear and opens our thought to God’s guidance. Then we can discern the inspiration that leads to healing – or the right step to take, person to talk to, or place to be. Whether we leap or take just one step forward at a time, Love’s irresistible impetus makes progress inevitable.