PEOPLE sometimes question the necessity or even the possibility of divine direction, labeling it old-fashioned and romantic. Maybe they consider that both the love of God and the fear of the devil are a little quaint and feel that they are quite capable of deciding for themselves what they ought to do. This is apt to give rise to unhappy and perhaps costly mistakes through the exercise of unbridled human will, as well as anxious uncertainty and nagging doubts about the reliability of one's own judgment when decisions have to be made. Despite skeptical beliefs to the contrary, we can, through prayer, find out what is the very best thing for us to choose, what is the wisest, the most loving, the most satisfying course of action.'' We read in Proverbs: ``Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.''1Christ Jesus showed clearly the outcome of doing this consistently as he went about his healing work. Praying for divine direction is still an essential part of daily life as well as the most effective guide to decisionmaking.
God's direction isn't reserved for a favored few. And we don't discern it simply by trying to be good enough to get what we want from God. We do see the best way to go, however, as we glimpse through prayer the perfect order and harmony of spiritual being and the fact that we have our own individual niche and purpose in it. This dissolves a mistaken human sense of either superiority or unworthiness and opens the way to see more clearly what is needed in a particular situation.
The situation itself may seem important or unimportant, but approaching it through prayer strengthens our understanding of the all-embracing love and care of God. For God is the one divine Mind, always wisely governing His spiritual creation. Our need is to be receptive to His government, to bring our thought into harmony with the divine will.
The Bible tells us that God made man in His image. So man isn't really a material personality for whom divine direction seems to spell an unwelcome obligation or a stern duty. Our true selfhood is the very reflection of the divine nature and action. So it's natural for us to seek God's guidance. The one Mind is always presenting the right ideas in the right way, and through receptive, God-centered thought we're able to perceive these ideas and apply them.
Nobody can hope to know better than divine Mind, so there's really nothing remarkable about wanting to be obedient to Mind. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, puts it like this: ``God is the fountain of light, and He illumines one's way when one is obedient. The disobedient make their moves before God makes His, or make them too late to follow Him. Be sure that God directs your way; then, hasten to follow under every circumstance.''2
Two Christian Scientists, turning to God in prayer, proved something of this a number of years ago when they were looking for a new house after a major relocation. The only place immediately available was startlingly different from what they thought they wanted, and as they drove back to the real estate agent's office after viewing it they listed all the reasons why it wasn't at all suitable. However, as they continued to pray about the question, all the objections began to melt away. They remembered a lot of good points about the house and had a sudden sense of rightness about it. The business was quickly settled, and they moved in, a little surprised at where they found themselves. But during the years that followed, the rightness of that decision has been fully vindicated as the appropriateness of the house has become more and more apparent.
Such experiences are happening every day as people begin to rely on a wisdom beyond their own to guide them. Divine direction brings to daily life a new perspective and a continuing sense of God's care.
1Proverbs 3:5, 6. 2Miscellaneous Writings, p. 117. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust . . . thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. Psalms 31:1,3