Who has control of your well-being?
A Christian Science perspective: The peace that’s found when discovering that God governs our lives.
It may sometimes seem that others can control our well-being and happiness. Our country’s government, our workplace, and our closest relationships may seem to threaten our peace or steal our joy. But my study of the Bible has taught me that an understanding of God is what brings true peace and joy: “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.... Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:13, 17).
Knowledge of God gives us a bigger picture than what limited, human intelligence can offer. This bigger picture is spiritual, and it is always good. Seeking God, or divine Mind, in prayer allows us to see this spiritual reality and bring peace to our lives.
I was able to glimpse something of this truth years ago as I prayed during a turbulent time at work. After only a few months, I was fired from a job that I loved, which others felt I was doing well in. The firing came without advance warning, and just a few days before a big Christmas party, where I would have to see all my colleagues. One of them told me that my boss felt threatened by my ideas on how to progress our department.
Angry and hurt by what felt like a surprise attack, my first inclination was to lash out at this individual. But I learned from Christ Jesus’ teachings in the Bible that reacting to the wrong done by another is never the answer. Jesus always sought guidance and wisdom from his Father-Mother God first. He had a spiritual poise that allowed him to prove that the divine Mind, God, is always in control, is the only power, and is wholly good. Through his healing works, he proved that God, good, is the divine Parent of us all, therefore, we each have a right to that goodness. So even though it seemed at that moment that I was governed by someone who had taken away my dignity and my livelihood, divine wisdom was telling me something entirely different.
In her primary text, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of Christian Science, explains that we are governed by God: “God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love” (p. 106). By letting Truth and Love govern our thought and action, we are guided by God’s wisdom. As a beloved child of God, I realized that there was only good in store for me, despite the human evidence.
After praying with these ideas, the most remarkable opportunity came my way. My boss’s supervisor called me in and asked why I was no longer working there, as she had been happy with my work. I said I didn’t know, but made a point of not saying anything negative about my boss. Rather than feeling resentment, I expressed how grateful I was for the brief opportunity to serve the organization. I then asked if I could leave her with a list of ideas I had generated that might benefit the department. She gladly accepted. So I went home and wrote her a letter, outlining what I thought the department could do.
During this time, I continued to pray, and shortly after I lost that job, a path quickly opened up for me to move on to an even greater job – the best of my career.
More remarkably still, I learned about 10 years later that all the ideas I had suggested in my letter had been implemented by the organization from which I had been fired. I marveled that I didn’t need to be there to make that happen.
This experience and many others throughout my life have shown me that God’s government is the only true government, and God’s wisdom the only true wisdom. Whatever our circumstance, each of us can trust that divine wisdom and Love will show us the path to peace and harmony.