A Christian Science perspective.
“You were so lucky!” I heard these words over and over after the birth of our son. In spite of predictions of protracted labor by the attending physician, the birth had been quick – so quick that my husband and I barely made the 10-minute trip to the hospital in time.
Good or bad luck is cited as a cause for much of what goes on in our lives. But I was uncomfortable with this explanation. Luck is random, inexplicable, capricious. My preparation for our son’s arrival had centered on dependable spiritual truths, on prayer to the God I knew to be able and willing to guarantee harmony in my life. I couldn’t reconcile my reliance on divine Principle, another name for God, with chance.
Well over a century ago, Mary Baker Eddy discerned the divine laws undergirding all existence. Reading an account of Jesus’ healing in the Bible, she was healed of injuries pronounced fatal. An ensuing period of intense scriptural study made clear to her that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient – and that His nature is totally good. “Principle” was one of the terms she chose to communicate not only God’s reliability, but His allness. Her research brought to light the impossibility that any opposing force could exist to influence or harm His creation.
Embracing an understanding of God as all-good, all-power, and all-presence naturally dissolves doubt, fear, and superstition. So it felt illogical to me to pray to see God’s control over our growing family while crossing my fingers that all would go well with my pregnancy and our son’s birth. In fact, it became increasingly vital to deny in my prayer that our well-being could be at risk or liable to human probability.
That’s exactly what my husband and I did as we awaited this birth. There was a sweet rhythm to our thinking during this period, prayerfully affirming God’s goodness and love, and denying power or presence to anxiety, mortal opinion, and all thoughts of chance. A clear directive from Mrs. Eddy’s primary work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” supported our efforts: “We must realize the ability of mental might to offset human misconceptions and to replace them with the life which is spiritual, not material” (p. 428).
After the birth had taken place so harmoniously, we felt measureless gratitude. But my friends’ continual reference to how fortunate I had been prompted me to ask God in prayer to show me definite evidence of His superiority over luck. My answer came quietly, in the memory of how very nearly our son had been born before we could leave for the hospital. With the birth process progressing rapidly, I had been unable to make it all the way to the car, and had to lie down on the floor just inside our door.
A call to a Christian Science practitioner to pray for us brought immediate help. The process came to a natural halt, enabling me to walk to the car. As soon as we arrived at the hospital, the birth resumed, and took place within minutes. It was clear that no luck was involved in this timing. God’s unconditional authority, potency, and loving care blessed us in a precise and unmistakable way.
Mrs. Eddy urged readers of Science and Health to reorient thought from believing in fortune to glimpsing the government of our affairs by divine Mind, another name for God: “[W]e must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God’s unerring direction and thus bring out harmony” (p. 424).
No one ever needs to fear bad luck, or to long for good fortune. God’s goodness is certain and reliable, guaranteeing blessings to His entire creation. You can depend on it.