Not helpless, but protected
Today’s column explores the idea that our existence isn’t a matter of chance, because God cares for each and every one of us eternally.
When we hear about an accident or mishap, whether in the news stream or from someone we know, our hearts ache for those involved. We might be tempted to feel helpless or even less safe ourselves – to believe that we’re just subject to good luck or bad luck in a dangerous world.
I’ve always tried to resist thinking like that. Not out of naiveté, but because I’ve come to realize that how we view the world and the ideals that we embrace in our thoughts each day – whether good or bad, fearful or hopeful – do have an impact on our experience. Experience, as I see it, is born of consciousness. What we think matters.
I take great comfort from a central teaching of Christian Science, based on the Bible: that God is good, and that all that He has made is good as well – like Him. In this light – despite appearances – life is not random, meaningless, or a matter of chance. Our real identity is spiritual, God’s loved children, always cared for by God, the ever-present and all-powerful divine Spirit. Clearly understanding God’s ever-active law of good, along with striving to live in accord with it, enables us to see God’s care evidenced more in our daily lives – protecting us from accidents, helping us move forward when we do have an untoward experience, and feeling less fear and more peace and dominion.
The Bible gives this assurance: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” (Psalms 91:1, 2).
Especially when traveling, I actively pray to keep my thought attuned to God’s higher law of right direction and protection. I don’t simply ask God to take care of me, but I joyfully acknowledge that that’s what God does all the time! I pray to lift my thought to a better awareness of God’s all-presence and love for everyone. I affirm with gratitude that I am His spiritual image and likeness, living in His kingdom, and that I am subject only to His loving government and law of harmony. There truly is no other power but God.
This kind of prayer has been a wonderful source of practical protection. One time my daughter and I were driving down a cold, dark highway in the middle of winter. I didn’t realize the temperature had dropped precipitously, forming ice on the road. I felt the car begin to lose traction. Before I knew it, we were spinning around. The situation wasn’t good, as there were many oncoming cars and trucks, as well as other vehicles that had spun out nearby.
I immediately turned to God for help. “God governs!” I found myself saying out loud several times with conviction. In a flash, the car settled on the side berm, unharmed and out of the way of other vehicles, engine still running. Not quite knowing what to do next, I again reached out to God, divine Love, for guidance. Immediately I felt led to drive slowly toward the next off-ramp. Though all the roads were covered in ice, we safely made our way across a frozen bridge to a nearby motel for the night. Ultimately, the state patrol closed the highway until morning because of the extreme conditions. We certainly felt grateful to God.
Instances like this show how practical it is to keep one’s thought spiritually clear concerning God’s ever-present care and control, so that when things seem suddenly out of control, we don’t react fearfully in a way that increases, rather than decreases, the possibility of harm to ourselves and others.
Christ Jesus once said, “[Y]e shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The truth is, each of us as God’s spiritual reflection, or image, is so perfectly united with God that we can never truly be outside of His infinite presence or loving care. We are in the “secret place of the most High” at all times, not in some game of chance. The more we awaken to this fact, deepen our trust in God, and recognize God’s universal law of good in operation, the more evidence we see of it in our experience. God loves us too much to leave us helpless.