Win-win solutions – always possible!

Today’s column examines how an openness to the unbounded intelligence and love of God can reveal solutions that benefit all involved.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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Next to a towering electric transformer sits a slightly taller platform atop a pole, with a huge nest of sticks resting securely on it. What is that all about?

In Baja California, Mexico, the landscape is a dry desert, devoid of trees. There, ospreys have a habit of nesting on the highest places around. With no options provided by the natural landscape, these large birds, with a wingspan of almost six feet, had been building their nests on electric transformers.

The results were disastrous – both for the birds and for the region’s electricity supply. But with one inspired idea, a solution emerged that provided safety for the birds and uninterrupted power for the region: Simple platforms held up by tall poles were erected to give the birds a perfect location for their nests.

Something struck me as special about this solution to the osprey problem. Not only was the outcome an indication of intelligence at work, it was also obvious that love was in action, too – such care was taken for the birds’ welfare.

How can we see more examples of this kind of win-win solution to the problems facing our world today? The most effective approach I’ve found involves understanding more about the source of good and inspired ideas: God, who is both Mind and Love.

Christian Science explains that God is the divine Mind that expresses Himself in ideas. This Mind is infinite, and therefore its ideas are spiritual and unlimited. Mind imparts this truth to human consciousness – to each of us. Therefore good and useful ideas are available to us as we open our hearts to the divine Mind, God.

When I turn to the Bible, which I love so dearly, I find the comforting words, “God is love” (I John 4:8). So God-inspired solutions aren’t the product of a cold, rigid, limited intelligence; solutions come from ideas emanating from limitless divine Love to us, providing the perfect balance of wisdom and care.

Over many years, I’ve found that the desire to seek solutions by turning to God’s infinite, loving intelligence can provide answers to some of our toughest problems. Prayer is a way of listening for this guidance from this loving Mind. Willingness to let our thought be lifted above perceived limitations and seeming dead ends to explore the limitless realm of spiritual ideas is effective prayer.

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, had this to say about such prayer: “… I know that prayer brings the seeker into closer proximity with divine Love, and thus he finds what he seeks, the power of God to heal and to save” (“Message to The Mother Church for 1901,” p. 19).

What promise this holds for discovering inspired solutions to all sorts of issues! As we understand that the one divine Mind that loves all equally unfolds to us the useful ideas we need, we can count on win-win solutions coming to light.

Just as those ospreys were blessed by an expression of intelligence united with care, so we, too, will be blessed as we open our thoughts to the infinite inspiration emanating from the divine Mind that is Love. Love’s blessings bring winning solutions for everyone.

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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.