When it looked as if we’d lose the company

Advised by his accountant that saving his business would be impossible, today’s contributor was struck with a conviction that God did not create anyone to toil, suffer, and fail, but instead to thrive and be joyful. Soon after came a business idea that turned the company around.

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I was traveling with my family. We had to catch a flight. The clock was ticking. As I was at the hotel checkout desk, family members were still packing. Moreover, items wouldn’t fit in our luggage. It was all very stressful and confusing. Should I try to reschedule the flight? I didn’t know what to do.

At that point, I woke up. It had been a dream. I didn’t have to worry about any of it. The solution all along had been simple: Just wake up.

This reminded me of an experience I had some years ago when the answer to a genuine dilemma, a business problem for which I initially saw no solution, came from a more profound awakening – a spiritual awakening to the truth of our real being, which I’m coming to understand more fully through Christian Science.

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, lays out in her writings that each individual’s true being is spiritual and eternal. And she refers to the concept of creation as vulnerable and matter-based as the mortal dream from which we need to awake. “This awakening,” she explains in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “is the forever coming of Christ, the advanced appearing of Truth, which casts out error and heals the sick” (p. 230).

It is the nature of Christ, God’s healing message, to reach the human heart. The experience I’m about to relate illustrates how we are awakened by this divine message whenever and wherever it is welcomed.

I own a company that sells music and movies online. In 2010, after the Great Recession, we found ourselves deep in debt and severely behind in our payments to our suppliers. Our accountant kindly informed me that there was no chance to save the company.

Nevertheless, I felt reassured by Christ Jesus’ promise that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). This statement has always been a reminder to me that even in the most difficult situations, God is with us, illuminating the way. I prayed along these lines for a while and felt greatly inspired.

I remember the turning point in this experience so clearly. I had just been talking on the phone to the supplier to whom we owed the most money. Needless to say, it had not been a pleasant conversation, and they had suggested a solution that would result in even deeper debt for my company.

It should have been a low moment, but instead, a startling thought came to me so clearly: This is not real. Indeed, it felt as though I were waking up from a dream. I had a sudden spiritual conviction that God did not create me – or anyone – to toil, suffer, and fail. He created every one of us to express His boundless nature – to succeed, grow, thrive, be joyful. God expresses in every one of us His infinite qualities, among which are wisdom and intelligence. Science and Health says, “Man is the expression of God’s being” (p. 470). Knowing this awakens us from stress, fear, and doubt and allows us to see our true, spiritual selfhood as complete – the unlimited idea of God’s creating.

My circumstances had not changed, but my perception of the situation had – in an instant. And I rejoiced. I saw that I could never be separated from God’s infinite goodness or be the victim of lack of any kind, whether ideas, health, or resources. A passage in another of Mrs. Eddy’s writings – “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 307) – helped me see that I would have the answers I needed.

Soon after, an idea came to me to try a completely different fulfillment model for our products. Success and phenomenal growth soon followed. The business completely turned around. All debts were paid in full, and we continue to do business with nearly all of the suppliers from that difficult period.

In situations that seem complicated, stressful, or overwhelming, the real solution comes not from frantic effort (however well-meaning), but from allowing God’s healing message to wake us up to the reality of good that’s ours to experience. Every one of us has the ability to hear this message, find the answers we need, and experience healing.

Adapted from an article published in the April 8, 2019, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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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.”

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