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Stockpiling the right thing

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

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A widely viewed online column recently advised readers to stock up on basic foods before prices get any higher. The author suggested that with interest rates low and commodity prices rising, groceries might even be a better investment option today than traditional bank accounts (WSJ.com/OnlineToday).

Certainly there's wisdom in keeping enough provisions to be prepared for unexpected difficulties. However, not everyone has the space to store 20-pound bags of flour or the means to purchase extra canned food.

But there's a deeper issue to consider. It has to do with what we're housing in our thoughts. As we load up the grocery cart, are we making a prudent purchasing decision or merely reacting fearfully to media coverage of world events?

Fear isn't an intelligent motivator, and if we let it influence us, we may end up making mistakes. Basing our actions on fear leaves God out of the reasoning process, and that inevitably starts us off in the wrong direction.

Beginning with God, on the other hand, enables us to affirm confidently that He will meet our needs, and leads to wiser actions. God is the center of all provision because He is the Creator and sustainer of all life. Everything, including food, oil, and other commodities, has a spiritual, God-derived basis. We already have what we need simply because God is continuously with us. This understanding is what we want to keep in our mental storehouse.

Mary Baker Eddy, Monitor founder, wrote: "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," p. 307). She wasn't speaking against the purchase of additional necessities. In fact, she lived in a time when preserving food was essential and thrift was expected in most households. She was actually advocating a shift in thought – identifying ourselves as God's children, with our needs first met by our Father-Mother.

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