A Christian Science perspective.
Thousands of people recently found their plans changed because volcanic ash blowing from Iceland caused many airline flights to be canceled. Such acts of nature, including ones more destructive than the volcanic eruption, demand that we make new plans, and this may be challenging. In addition to the time, effort, and expense involved in getting things back on schedule, such incidents often have serious consequences in people’s lives.
Many passengers have already needed to rethink their plans. Often, human details crowd in, making us fearful or confused about what to do next. But if we turn to an unchanging God, good, for further direction, we find a rock on which to rest. Truth, which the Bible reveals as another name for God, is unchanging. Fundamental, spiritual truth is untouched by changing human circumstances. That this truth is changeless enables us to meet shifting circumstances with equanimity because we know that God is a stable resource for us.
Some of us may be led to pray about specific details affecting the situation – restoration of order, safe travel, and so forth. What I’ve found helpful is to pray from the standpoint that God’s harmony has never been interrupted, and that since the man and woman He created are spiritual, the reflection of God, our harmony hasn’t been interrupted either.
In the universe of an all-good, omnipotent God, mistakes have no place. Two plus two will never equal anything but four. And this simple example gives a little insight into the permanence of spiritual good. To take the arithmetic example a little further, we’ll probably all agree that even mistakenly believing the answer is five instead of four can’t change the mathematical fact. And when we apply such information correctly, we’re saved from inharmony, whatever situation we’re in.
Now suppose we apply Christian Science, the specific laws of God, to the areas and people that have been affected by the volcanic ash. If we pray from the standpoint of God’s perfection and control over His creation, we can expect harmony to emerge, even when things haven’t seemed to be going right. This is possible because our prayers are based on an exact science, Christian Science, for guidance and also for correction. This Science will bring about change for the better.
The correction may take form as a more spiritualized view of the situation and an ability to perceive at least some good in it. This helps us resist the temptation to accept the conclusion that we are the victims of our own or anyone’s mistakes or of nature’s sometimes unexpected actions.
Prayer enables us to turn from a variable course of action to bring ourselves more in line with God’s unchanging harmony. Such a change in thought will open us up to a new path that will bring us closer to living this peace and satisfaction. The basic truths involved never change but remain the mental building blocks of any new effort.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote in the Christian Science textbook, “If Christianity is not scientific, and Science is not of God, then there is no invariable law, and truth becomes an accident. Shall it be denied that a system which works according to the Scriptures has Scriptural authority?” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 342).
The Scriptures that she often referred to and depended upon inform us of God revealing the divine nature, saying, “I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6).
When the unexpected happens, we can turn to this unchangeable God and find new and inspired directions. We can trust that our overall plan will not be “consumed,” but that we’ll find a different avenue for fulfillment.
While God, infinite intelligence, knows nothing of changeable human circumstances, divine wisdom is always available for us to call upon for direction. The glorious fact is that neither our mistakes nor unexpected events affect this absolute truth of being. Truth remains intact; we can always learn more of it and apply that knowledge to any situation. There will never be a time when we are compelled to act without divine direction. There is always a way out and up. We can meet any challenge with prayerful direction. When circumstances or even our own wisdom demand that plans be changed, we don’t need to feel trapped in indecision. Unchanging wisdom is only a prayer away.