I SAT watching the loading area of the jets while waiting for my flight. It was crowded with planes, service trucks, baggage carts, and airline personnel. A couple sat down next to me and the young man joyfully blurted out, ``Look, there's the Goliath Crane.'' ``There's what?'' I thought to myself. I'd been watching the same scene for over half an hour and had observed no such object. I finally asked the young man if he would mind pointing out the crane. Enthusiastically he pointed to a place several miles away. The crane was across the river, barely visible in the distance. He explained that he knew much about this piece of heavy machinery because it was near his home.
Because of his familiarity with the crane, the young man noticed it first, and was most interested in it, even though it was less obvious than other objects in view. This got me to thinking: Am I that quick in identifying the things of God -- that is, the evidence of His goodness -- when it seems more obvious that there's so much present that isn't good? Am I that familiar with God and what He creates? I had to conclude that I needed to know God better.
Christian Science teaches that God is Spirit. We draw closer to Him through spiritual sense. The more we know of God, of His love and care for man, the better we can identify the presence of His goodness and avail ourselves of it. The Bible assures us that the knowledge of God is the path to having more good in our lives. The book of Job declares, ``Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.''
Spirit, God, is infinite good, and this goodness is manifested in spiritual individuality. We can identify God's presence by understanding that man is spiritual, is God's expression. According to the Scriptures, man is God's image and likeness. Immortal man -- our real being as God's offspring -- is one with Spirit. We are, in reality, the embodiment of good, reflecting God, who is infinite Life, Truth, and Love. As we realize that this perfect and complete selfhood constitutes the true nature of each individual, we will look for -- and find -- the spiritual qualities that represent God, such as kindness, honesty, intelligence, patience.
There are times, of course, when bad traits in ourselves or another loom large. Perhaps all we see is selfishness, jealousy, or pride. But when we focus on the imperfection of a material personality, we miss seeing what is most important -- Christ, or the true idea of good, which God loves and which we should cherish. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Absorbed in material selfhood we discern and reflect but faintly the substance of Life or Mind. The denial of material selfhood aids the discernment of man's spiritual and eternal individuality, and destroys the erroneous knowledge gained from matter or through what are termed the material senses.''
Who would want to miss seeing the evidence of God's love reflected in man? Isn't this something that Christ Jesus' Sermon on the Mount encourages us to seek?
Acquainting ourselves with God through prayer, we can be certain that good is real and present regardless of the material view before us. Our familiarity with and affinity to good as God's idea will enable us to recognize it quickly. And as we see good early and become eager to point it out, our relationships will improve. They'll be more loving, harmonious, and productive.