Ignorance Aforethought

November 29, 2012

Those are two words you don’t normally see together.  But given their meanings, it’s an appropriate pairing to be alert to.

Ignorance is defined online as the condition of being unaware or uninformed; a lack of knowledge, information, or education.  Aforethought simply means planned or intended beforehand; premeditated.

While it’s true that one doesn’t typically plan in advance to be ignorant (and maybe planning and ignorance are mutually exclusive), ignorance is a chief cause for finding oneself in harm’s way.  And it’s equally true that one cannot humanly prepare for every possible outcome – there are just too many variables.  You’ve heard the old adage: what you don’t know CAN hurt you.

So what is the solution to preventing ignorance aforethought?  Prayer.

Not the kind of prayer that tells God how and where to keep us safe – that is, if it’s His will to do so.  I mean the kind of prayer that trusts our heavenly Father to keep His Word in maintaining the safety and security of His beloved creation.  Isaiah reports Deity as saying, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”  (see chapter 45, verse 22)  Is there anything in that statement that indicates God is kidding?  I don’t think so…

Let’s be clear in prayer then, that every moment is in the care of that powerful, divine Love (another name for God) that Isaiah made plain.  That means that our futures are not left up to chance but instead, to the unerring direction of omnipotent Spirit.  (see Science and Health 424:5 for example) It also means that even in the midst of some pretty awful circumstances – think Daniel in the lion’s den, or Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace – the realization of God’s ever presence and all-power will move us through the problem without harm to ourselves.  (see Daniel 3:1-27 and 6:1-23)

This is not wishful thinking.  This is scientific expectation: scientific because it refers to God’s consistent and provable government, and expectation because we are convinced that He really will care for us!

So, let your aforethought be only assured that all is – and ever will be – well.  And then know that you know it!

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Abundant good, always

October 20, 2012

I attended a non-profit fundraiser last night.  The presentation was good, the mission sound, and the need real.  I was inspired to donate, and prepared to volunteer.  I was ready to “make it happen.”  Then it occurred to me – the disciples query of Jesus – what is this among so many?  This question they asked upon seeing only 5 loaves and two fishes, and at least 5000 hungry followers.

Good question then and now.  It seems that limited resources, limited helping hands, limited time all bear out in limited assistance for a need that seems unlimited.  But Jesus didn’t see it that way.  In fact he said up front “thank you God.”  (see John 6:5 – 13)  Thank you that good isn’t limited.  Thank you for always taking care of your beloved children.  Thank you for making your purpose and power known to me and these.  Thank you for proving that all things are possible to You.  And then he fed that multitude, and even had leftovers.

What is the lesson for me? That perhaps it’s not so much the money I give to this non-profit, or the time I put in, or even the word I spread (and those all are definitely worthy and important).  It’s the gratitude I give for the abundant good already flowing in all directions from God Himself.

Mary Baker Eddy, 19th century theologian, wrote in Science and HealthIt is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.”  (see page 494:11)  She adds this profound statement: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”

To be clear, it’s not that my hands (or my dollars) aren’t useful in caring for my fellow man.  It’s just that my hands, or even many hands are not the sole solution.  To the extent that I recognize that God is both the power and the resource behind my hands – and my prayers – is what I do effective and worthwhile.

As the Psalmist says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  (46:1)  That is always true.  There are no exceptions.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

How many is one?

October 11, 2012

Seems like a pretty straight forward question.  One, after all, is only…one.  Whether it’s infinite or infinitessimal, it’s still just one.  But that’s the cool thing about it.  Everyone knows what one means!

The Bible makes clear that God is one.  And not just one, but one and only.  (see for example 2 Kings 19:15 and Psalms 86:10)  In fact, the central theme of the Bible is the worship of and devotion to only one God.  This point is made especially profound when that worship shifts from one God to many gods.  Great suffering was the result.

And then along came Christ Jesus.  Not only did he know from deep inside that God is one, but he made the profound and startling statement that he was one with God.  (see John 10:30)  The Jews were prepared to stone him for such a ridiculous and blasphemous outburst.  Yet, Jesus proved the validity of his words.  He made plain God’s declaration that everything is good by revealing that same goodness in healing and redemption.  (see Genesis 1:31)  He upheld God’s deep love for mankind through forgiveness and restoration.

And then he had the audacity to say “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.”  (see John 14:12)  I think that he was suggesting to his students and followers that they too, were one with God.

Imagine that for a moment.  Consider the implications.  One God.  God’s children one with Him.  Not many with Him, but one.  Mary Baker Eddy understood just how amazing that singularity is when she wrote, “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.”  (see Science and Health page 340:23)

Infinite oneness.  How many is one?

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.