The divine law of good

A Christian Science perspective: We’re never without God’s help.

One day when the temperature hit its peak where I work in Paris, the departure board at a major train station indicated that many trains to many towns, including mine, had been canceled. Then a sudden power outage knocked out the screens for departures and track assignments throughout the station, preventing anyone from knowing where the remaining trains were going. Chaos ensued. There seemed to be no staff on hand to answer questions, and audio announcements were unintelligible.

Despite the extreme heat and confusion, I realized I didn’t need to be disturbed. I thought about an account in the Bible, which relates how Jesus fed thousands of people from just a handful of loaves and fish (see Mark 6:30–44). While my own need was so very modest in comparison to that unique act, I still found it helpful to think about how Jesus did this. Just before he started distributing the food, he instructed his disciples to have everyone sit down in groups on green grass (see Mark 6:39).

Various Bible commentaries give different interpretations of Christ Jesus’ instruction, but this is my favorite: Perhaps it was to prepare them to be served. I picture the crowd turning from their fear of being without food, to sitting down and quietly preparing for something remarkable occurring to meet their need.

And something remarkable did occur. Jesus knew there is a divine law of good operating that cannot be blocked or thwarted. He knew that God is all-powerful and only good; a God that eternally cares for all creation, including man. Jesus’ understanding of this divine law or Science of good allowed him to meet human needs in remarkable ways, and everyone was fed.

That same law operates whether we are facing a severe crisis or simply dealing with travel chaos. On the basis of trusting that law I kept calm and expectant of good, rather than dashing left and right to search out a train. The trains on all 27 tracks were unmarked, but I felt led to one of the tracks and sat down on the train parked there. I was sitting on the “green grass” – calmly trusting in the good prepared for me.

It wasn’t till the train departed that I heard an announcement that I was on a high-speed train to a destination far beyond my home, with no indication it was stopping along the way. Concerned, I prayed. Then I again remembered, “Sit down on the green grass,” which reminded me to stay calm and trust in the goodness of God. After about 20 minutes, the train slowed to a stop in the town right next to mine. Upon exiting, a bus pulled in front of me that would pass by my apartment. My trip home was actually reduced to half the normal travel time. That was a very welcome outcome.

Such prayer never stops at the door of our own need, but inspires us to care for others in troubling situations. When any kind of chaos threatens, we can pray to acknowledge the divine law, or Principle, of good, capable of meeting the need. Goodness and harmony are the product of the omnipotent Principle that is God. Understanding the omnipotence of good can bring calm to chaos, guide our steps, and reveal needed solutions.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

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.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.