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Are you a victim of others' decisions?

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

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All of us at one time or another have to work through situations that seem beyond our control – circumstances that are the result of decisions made by others but that directly affect us.

Whether those situations are large, such as the way a government decides to spend tax dollars, or small, such as a neighbor who decides to hold a raucous, late-night party, any feeling of helplessness can be a signal that it's time to pray. Prayer shifts thought from a limited, linear, personal standpoint of reasoning to alignment with the infinite God, divine Mind, where we can listen for and find satisfying solutions to impositions and injustices.

The Bible is full of examples of people who experienced the powerful effect of shifting from limited thinking to awareness of infinity. Joseph, for example, was faced with a whole run of circumstances that threatened to affect him adversely and that were beyond his control. His willingness to turn to God for the solution enabled him to make each experience a step of progress.

It all began when he was thrown into a pit and left to die by his jealous brothers. Some travelers found him, pulled him out, and sold him to merchants who took him to Egypt. There, an Egyptian official bought him to oversee his property. But when the man's wife falsely accused him of trying to seduce her, Joseph was thrown into prison. Joseph kept praying. It became known in the prison that he was able to interpret dreams.

This knowledge came to Pharaoh's ears at a time when he'd had troubling dreams that his own staff wasn't able to interpret. Soon Joseph was called from prison. The Bible records: "Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace" (.. 41:15, 16).

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