The irrepressible flow of God’s ideas
A Christian Science perspective: Handling censorship and a stopped flow of ideas through prayer.
Although the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifically states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression,” this right is not guaranteed or practiced in all countries around the world. Some citizen journalists challenge what a government wants its society to believe, and this leads governments to censor information and silence individuals.
Such censorship, to me, is a call to prayer. I’ve seen that prayer reveals answers to problems – both in my own life as well as in others – when it is founded on an understanding of God and of our inseparable relation to Him, which Christ Jesus came to show the world.
A synonym for God implied in the Bible and used in the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, is “Mind.” God, the divine Mind, communicates to us through pure inspiration, intuitions, and ideas, and these divine ideas are continuously present and available for us to perceive, understand, and express.
The psalmist states, “How precious ... are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” (Psalms 139:17). And the prophet Jeremiah tells us that God’s thoughts, or spiritual ideas, are “thoughts of peace, and not of evil” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Mrs. Eddy explains that the ideas that come from God produce only good: “Immortal ideas, pure, perfect, and enduring, are transmitted by the divine Mind through divine Science, which corrects error with truth and demands spiritual thoughts, divine concepts, to the end that they may produce harmonious results” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 259). These spiritual ideas lead to practical solutions and breakthroughs for all who listen humbly for God’s direction, no matter where we live or what government presides in our region. And because these ideas are spiritual, their flow cannot be interrupted by any material factors such as censors, time, or space; God’s ideas are ongoing, progressive, and liberating. Listening for these intuitions, in itself, is actually a powerful form of prayer.
In my own life a number of years ago as a young professor, it seemed a free flow of ideas was going to be cut off when I was directing a graduate degree program jointly operated by two universities in the same city. The program was successful and highly visible, and it was meeting regional and community needs. Then, suddenly, one of the universities unexpectedly withdrew from the agreement. I was puzzled that the university broke its commitment to the joint venture. I was also angry that the administration did not appreciate my work in establishing the program to get it nationally accredited. Efforts to reestablish the program and replace my lost income through other means were only marginally successful.
Finally, I decided to humbly pray for direction. I earnestly studied the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, knowing that we all are inseparable from the divine Mind, God, and that we can never be deprived of the inspiration and ideas we need to move forward. Praying this way brought a calm assurance that both the needs of the students and my income would be satisfied.
The following week I was invited to attend a meeting at my state’s Department of Education. This meeting led to contacts with officials who had a significant interest in the success of the cooperative graduate program. In the week that followed that meeting, the program was reinstated, and so was my position. I coordinated the program for several more years until the cooperative agreement was officially completed. The next year I was awarded a large grant that greatly enhanced and expanded the program within the university whose support had been continuous. I was exceedingly grateful that the generous grant helped educate students and promulgate the flow of ideas that were beneficial to the community, and also, of course, for the restored income.
Today, I continue to pray to understand our relationship to God and to better know that God is our true source of inspiration and supply. And I am encouraged to know that the inspiration that God gives us is unstoppable, powerful, and available to all to understand and prove.