A Christian Science perspective.
I’ve traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, to observe the summit on climate change and participate in a delegation at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (Dec. 7–18), representing a German nongovernmental organization.
Contingency planning for the next generation, even if all climate predictions prove wrong, seems to me lovingly foresighted. Thus, the Copenhagen summit marks an important hour. I’m seeing it as a time for spiritual citizenship.
This involves setting aside personal opinions and egos and striving to perceive what will be best for the earth and its people. It also includes a willingness to surrender personal opinions and to trust in the power of good – what Christian Science calls God – to prevail.
Clearly, there’s a lot to pray about regarding the meeting, which can have such far-reaching consequences. One thing I’ve considered is the many important, high-powered attendees with strong feelings about how things should go. One of my own contributions to the meeting, then, has been to pray specifically about the need for an agreement that will get past all those strongly held views and express a common love for humanity.
An experience I’ve found helpful occurred when I was responsible for hosting and directing a business meeting that involved several individuals with well-developed egos and considerable résumés.
The organization I was with wanted to create an action plan on federal land policy and the estate tax in the United States. We had roughly an hour to identify priorities and name our strategy. I felt like David facing Goliath, but instead of having a slingshot, I had only a notebook and a pen. I called a Christian Science practitioner for ideas on a spiritual approach to the meeting. His answer hit the bull’s-eye: "We can be so grateful to our Father-Mother Mind for relieving each person at the table from personality and ego."
Relieved from ego! It was a relief to see that accomplishing an agenda or proving powerfulness wasn’t necessary. Since there is only one Ego, God, then there can be no egotists; there is only the one God, one Mind, who loves all of His children. I held to these thoughts during the meeting, and the conversation proceeded elegantly. We crafted a legislative suggestion that was creative and suitable to each party involved.
This concept is also relevant to the meetings here in Copenhagen. The fact that there is only one Ego will serve to unite people, where a collection of strong-willed egos would tend to divide. Mary Baker Eddy explained this very well in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "The one Spirit includes all identities" (p. 333). That there is only one Mind means that a divinely inspired solution will also meet all needs. Even if a specific plan doesn’t emerge during the meeting – although everyone hopes it will – the one Spirit will continue to guide those who are negotiating. Perhaps as important is the fact that this is still a major milestone in a two-decade long effort by nations to work together.
Bringing our best thoughts and prayers to bear on the summit and the effort to work out "next steps," we can trust that the Christ, God’s message of His love for all humanity, doesn’t always operate within the framework of process. Sometimes the Christ operates in spite of it. A friend recently shared with me the idea that "when Christ moves something, it’s effortless."
In all steps of life we are escorted by God. We are in God’s entourage. His angel messages make practical steps clear. The Bible includes this promise: "Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth" (Ps. 124:8). These steps and their prudent timing are never on a deadline. In the quiet of eternity, there is no ticktock of "too late," no acquiescence to "maybe later." No one is bound by the horizon of the age in which we live; prescience, foresight, and intuition are honed and relevant tools to the spiritual thinker, no matter where he or she is.
We can take a few moments each day to love the delegates and the concern for our world that their efforts represent. When we love as Jesus did, the powerful spiritual lever of brother- and sisterhood will melt disagreement, nationalism, divergent theories, and even egotism.