Out of Luck?
THE Bible story about the man waiting for healing at the pool of Bethesda-that is what flashed through my thought when I saw the long line of people waiting to purchase their lottery tickets. I had never viewed the lottery this way before, but suddenly it made sense to me. So many people lined up, all feeling that good is limited but hoping nonetheless for good fortune; depending on luck, knowing that only a few will profit and everyone else will lose. But good isn't limited, as we discover when we realize that good comes from God. The Bible story, in John's Gospel, tells of Jesus going to Jerusalem and passing the pool called Bethesda. Beside this pool, we read, ''lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had'' (5:3, 4). I guess, like the gamblers, most of the distressed people at the pool ended up feeling out of luck, too. After all, how many people in a crowd can be first? But we don't have to wait for good to happen in our lives. We already have all the good there is. That's because the good we have comes from God, our creator. God is infinite. This means that there is not a spot anywhere in the universe that is not already filled with good by reason of God's ever-presence. God is good. We are living in the universe of infinite God, good. That's why Jesus could immediately heal the man by the pool, who had been waiting for thirty-eight years to be ''first.'' In a book called Rudimental Divine Science, Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, responds to the question ''How would you define Christian Science?'' She replies, ''As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony'' (p. 1). Infinite goodness is the law of God. None of us can be separated for a moment from infinite good. Good is not something we are waiting for. The law of God is invariable, enforced by divine authority. Good is not elusive. We always find it when we look to God for it. Once we understand that God is the source of all good, we perceive that anything unlike God is not real, but temporal. Illness or injury, for example, may look or feel very real, but it can be seen for what it is-a lie-as we better understand our relation to God. We are not taking broken or ill-adjusted matter and repairing it. Healing in Christian Science makes us wake up to what has always been true of God and his perfect reflection, man. Our experience definitely changes when we start looking for good everywhere and stop thinking of good as limited or distant. Here's how I know. Some time ago I was troubled with muscle pain. I moved with difficulty and discomfort. I found myself thinking, ''Well, this is what aging is like and perhaps it's inevitable.'' But instead of stopping there, I prayed and I asked a fellow Christian Scientist to pray for me. I was greatly improved but I wasn't completely healed. I realized that what I really needed was more spiritual growth myself, so I thanked my friend for his help and continued to pray for myself. After several weeks I was finally looking for good, moment by moment in my experience. Was I healed instantly? No. But I was healed. The pain subsided on the first day and continued to diminish until it was completely gone. Good is already ours. It belongs to each of us. God gives us health, supply, love, companionship, employment, joy, and there isn't any power that can take away what God has given. Each of us is already blessed, at this moment and forever. Good is not chancy, something a few may get and most don't. God doesn't play lottery with us. Each of us is a winner, now! Good is available to all, because God cannot be separated from His expression, man. God is not going to love us more tomorrow than he does today. We are loved infinitely, now. We are absolutely enveloped in God's great love for us. His goodness surrounds us. His goodness is powerful and ever active. Like the man Jesus healed, we can rise from the belief that we're blind, halt, withered-and waiting.