A Christian Science perspective.
You’re walking up a mountain path, and suddenly a huge boulder falls and blocks your way. You have three choices: (1) to sit down and cry before going back down the trail; (2) to get out a penknife to try to chisel through the rock; or (3) to climb up over the rock and continue on your way.
That’s a useful metaphor for how the hard problems of life are, or are not, solved. Option No. 1 implies being overwhelmed and incapacitated. Option No. 2 fools us into thinking we’re doing something when actually all that’s going on is naive, useless repetition. (This would hide the fresh perspectives that support real progress.) Option No. 3 is the outcome of vision and courage that insist on a way forward.
Moving past hopelessness has to do with admitting there are God-given solutions to the problems at hand.
Where does this conviction come from? From the fact that God maintains His creation. The greater the problem to be solved, the greater the assurance that God is guiding. Mary Baker Eddy, who established the Monitor with the broadest view of humanity’s right to progress, wrote, “The divine Mind that made man maintains His own image and likeness” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 151). She also said, “Whatever influence you cast on the side of matter, you take away from Mind, which would otherwise outweigh all else” (p. 168).
Christian Science exposes the error that opposes our best efforts: the belief that life is only organized matter. This mind-set lulls us into hopelessness – into believing our prospects are determined by the chemistry of medical theory, by economic laws of depressed housing and job markets, or by the laws of physics involved with environmental disasters. Materialism defines problems in ways that make them unsolvable because of inherent limitations and painful trade-offs. But the real power of creation is the law of Spirit, which ushers thought beyond matter, and shows God’s complete provision.
One day while praying about environmental problems, I felt overwhelmed by the Gulf oil spill, the floating mass of garbage in the Pacific, and the amount of trash in the atmosphere orbiting Earth. I realized that Christian Science gives us authority to affirm in prayer the opposite of what a material sense of life says. So, instead of agreeing with the contamination of the oil spill, I honored Spirit, God, as the source of goodness, sustaining creation.
Right where corruption undermines the usefulness of business and government agencies, God, Truth, is upholding the integrity of all executives and public servants. I could see that whatever contributes to pollution must yield to the perspective of omniscient Mind, God, the source of all intelligence.
Praying this way, I was surprised at how quickly depression and feelings of uselessness lifted. I felt expectant that fresh, creative, and even simple ideas would support everyone working toward global solutions. And I noticed the rhythm of my own day becoming more productive.
When life feels overwhelming and self-defeating, God-centered spirituality reinvigorates us and shows us how to participate in the solutions at hand.