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Larger concerns

LIFE these days can seem pretty complicated, requiring careful thought. We need to plan wisely. Perhaps, as a result, most of us spend much of our time concerned about the issues in our own lives--our finances, families, jobs, and so forth. The universal love that Christ Jesus taught often gets little of our time. Not as much thought is given to the wider and deeper issues facing the world. This does not mean we are all ignorant of world problems or that we're not often concerned about them. On the contrary, many people around the world are probably better informed today than ever before, and they may feel apprehensive about such issues as nuclear disarmament as well as compassionate toward the homeless and starving. But how many of us spend much time or earnest thought working to solve these problems? Do we feel there is nothing we can do that will have any significant effect on world conditions? Perhaps we are like a friend of mine many years ago who listed what he saw as the woes of his country. When I asked him what he was going to do about them, he replied, ``I'm going to worry.'' This attitude is especially interesting, or sad, depending on your point of view, in light of the Bible's warm teaching that even one individual who relies on God can have a great impact for good. The Scriptures tell of an anonymous poor man who by his wisdom saved his little city from the great king who besieged it.1 In a promise that must bring hope to all who feel compassion for those suffering in the world, Christ Jesus, the master Christian, said, ``With God all things are possible.'' 2 We may feel that our present understanding of God is very limited. But that does not mean we can't be an influence for good. It means that what we do understand of God can be a powerful help, the fruit of our spirituality. To be spiritually-minded is to discern the reality of God and man, transcending what the five physical senses tell us. It is to realize that God is infinite good, filling all space. It is to sense, however slightly at first, that man is in reality not a mass of material flesh and bones but the perfect expression of this infinite good that is God. Spirituality isn't synonymous with complicated metaphysical knowledge. Rather it includes a fresh, childlike, spiritual perspective on all things, a loving and gentle joy. This is not naivet. Spirituality confers a genuine depth of perception, an ability to see beyond appearances to the reality of God's care for man. We all can be spiritually-minded. The need is to cultivate an even greater love for God and man and a purity of thought, humbly receptive to the eternal Christ, the divine influence in human consciousness. The action of Christ is as natural as the unfolding of a blossom. We never should ignore our own problems. That will not help the world. But we need not limit our concerns to ourselves. Rather, we can apply our understanding of perfect God and man to world challenges as well as to our own. That will lessen both. Through the healing, transforming influence of Christ, we all can express more and more wisdom, selfless love, courage, and so forth. These will give us a sense of peace about human affairs and enable us to take whatever action is appropriate. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``What has not unselfed love achieved for the race? All that ever was accomplished, and more than history has yet recorded.'' Further along on that page she continues: ``Who should care for everybody? It is enough, say they, to care for a few. Yet the good done, and the love that foresees more to do, stimulate philanthropy and are an ever-present reward.'' 3 Our natural love need not be limited. It can expand to help the entire world. 1 See Ecclesiastes 9:14, 15. 2 Matthew 19:26. 3 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 238.

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