Having just taken off from a major airport in southern California, I was struck by what happens when you fly. On the ground, things can look like a disorganized jumble of planes, service trucks, and runways. But after takeoff, as the plane gains altitude, the scene begins to look different. What appears chaotic at ground level starts to make sense from the air. That day I could see how the runways were orderly. Planes were grouped around the terminal in what seemed to me beautiful designs that resembled daisy petals joined to a common center.
Observing the effects of a change in vantage point provides a useful analogy. Life can sometimes seem to be helter-skelter, a jumble of activities and responsibilities. Much as the view from a plane rising from the airport helps us make sense out of the crowded scene on the ground, I’ve found that prayer – lifting my thought to the Divine – provides a change in perspective that brings more peace and harmony into my life.
I like to think of prayer as allowing our thought to rise in order to glimpse how God sees. And how might that look? The Bible tells us that God is “of purer eyes than to behold evil” (Habakkuk 1:13). It follows that what God sees is entirely spiritual, a reality in which good is infinite and we are all created and sustained by that infinite goodness – spiritually, not materially.
This isn’t about just ignoring bad things we see – the chaos, ugliness, or disorder. Rather, looking to God’s reality can help us realize that these things aren’t as overpowering as they may seem. To strive to understand that all God created is good is to mentally rise higher and to more and more clearly see the harmony of God’s creation as the powerful reality. From this spiritual vantage point a sense of evil’s reality and power fades, even as the sense of disorder on the airport grounds disappears with the clarity of a higher perspective.
At one point I was asked to do a job I felt totally unqualified to perform. Because my initial view was of fear of failure and major self-doubt of my abilities, I asked God to show me how this looked from a higher perspective, a spiritual view.
As I prayed, I began to recognize that God was in charge of creation, and He gives every one of us all we need, including qualities such as intelligence and creativity. The fears and doubts vanished, and I was able to go ahead with my assignment and complete it successfully.
Mary Baker Eddy, a Christian healer who lived a life of prayer, writes, “The human mind will sometime rise above all material and physical sense, exchanging it for spiritual perception, and exchanging human concepts for the divine consciousness” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 531). Looking up from the chaos “on the ground” to spiritual reality opens thought to the ultimate view of existence, one that clarifies what is real and brings a sweet and practical promise of order and goodness right here, right now!