THAT'S how some of the Israelites perceived themselves as they searched out the land of Canaan. Moses, responding to God's direction, had sent representatives to find a new home for the people. But most of them brought back a fearful report. ''And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak . . . : and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers . . . .'' One man, though, Caleb, had voiced the opposite observation: ''Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.''n1.
n1 Numbers 13:33, 30.
When changes appear in our own lives, do we think of ourselves as grasshoppers facing giants? Or are we, like Caleb, ''well able to overcome it''?
Changes can present uncertainties. But we can dissolve uncertainty by bringing God to the center of what we are doing. Of course, we really don't ''bring'' God anywhere. He already is the Father-Mother of all. Man is His perfect offspring, always governed wisely by his creator. When we take such divine facts into our hearts, we then see God's love and guidance making straight the path before us as we make changes.
In my family we witnessed this truth. My wife and I had not been married long when we were impelled to resign our jobs and to found a nonprofit business serving the special education needs of others. We had neither private nor public funding. Nor did we have a suitable facility. But we did have the idea-as well as the professional experience in this field-and we were convinced of God's love for us.
Thereafter this trust in God's love and sure guidance became the focal point of what we were doing. And so when things grew difficult-as happened occasionally -we took refuge in the spiritual fact that God originates, governs, and sustains man's activity.
First came an adequate home; then, a deserving clientele; next, financial balance; and finally, a much more adequate facility. Seven years later, when we saw that the original project had completed its work, we took up new work, this time across the country in an area unfamiliar to us. The very same God-centered truths marked the way in this change as well.
Many have found ''change-for-the-sake-of-change'' nonproductive and not satisfying. Isn't it better when the desire for progress or higher service motivates the changes we seek? And what more dependable guide is there for such change than God? His love and wisdom direct the good desire we have into the proper path, sometimes one previously unseen. And if change accompanies this path, God's love perfects even the smallest details involved.
But what if change means a move away from our home and friends? We don't need to feel separation from friends even though we move long distances. Letters help. Phone calls help. New friends appear. But there is a more certain, Biblically-based fact: God is an ever-present comfort-the truest friend one could have.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says, referring to God: ''Spirit duly feeds and clothes every object, as it appears in the line of spiritual creation, thus tenderly expressing the fatherhood and motherhood of God.''n2.
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 507. And in another place she writes, ''Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation.''n3.
n3 Ibid.,mpg. 332.
And what of new responsibilities, different work, another job? Looking to the Bible, we see that Moses and other luminaries and, above all, Christ Jesus, made service to God the sole purpose of their work. Countless men and women in every age, and in a variety of professions, have placed divine service at the center of their work. In whatever they were doing, they gave highest value to spiritual considerations.
And doesn't such a practice make more certain our success in a new set of responsibilities? God does not place us in a situation that we are not ready for; instead, He provides us with the capacity to match the opportunity, just as He provides the opportunity to match the capability.
And a new home? ''Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.''n4.
n4 Psalms 90:1. Each of us, in absolute truth, lives in divine Love's presence at this moment, and we can come to feel more of this reality. We can bring to our environment the God-derived elements of peace, progress, affection, honesty, order, and stability (to name but a few!). Then we will feel at home, and find the most appropriate place to live.
Then, too, we'll find ourselves living and working, not as grasshoppers and not among giants, but as those who express God's dominion.