Originally printed as an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel
A few years back, my favorite brand of orange juice had a promotional contest. Every week I'd open a can of juice to find these words on the underside of the lid: "Sorry, you are not a winner."
It wasn't an optimal start to the day. I've since changed brands. If only it were as easy to shut off the less obvious, sometimes daily, ways in which that message gets repeated.
Reports on the issue of an increasingly global economy prompt deeper thought on the whole subject of winning and losing. For example, it's apparent that some countries are advantageously seated on the bullet train of economic progress. Their political systems are strong. They have the necessary tickets to benefit from a more unified world economy. Others, though, are stuck in the mud on the way to the station.
As with individuals, so with nations, it appears that some come up losers. What's wrong with this picture?
Simply put, it leaves God out. God, who is all-inclusive Love. God, the one governing Principle of the whole universe. When you bring God into the picture, you get an entirely new vision and hope. As a Japanese man put it in an interview in the international magazine The Herald of Christian Science: "We need to listen to the ideas that come to us from God. And, with these, we can make a breakthrough. We can change things."
When we regularly listen to God as the all-loving Mind, a tremendous shift takes place - we begin to reason from the basis of the divine. From a spiritual perspective, we discover that there's not more good at one place or time than another. There's not more ability or opportunity for one of God's children than another. Everyone wins because good is unlimited. This point of view isn't up-in-the-clouds musing. It's the spiritual understanding that has incomparable power to unbind limited thinking and improve circumstances. It breaks a pattern of losing.
This kind of prayer and reasoning knows no boundaries. Never underestimate how even one individual's thoughtful affirmation of God's ever-present intelligence may help someone somewhere in the world break out of a losing cycle. Perhaps someone like a woman in Brazil named Fia Souza de Lima, who built her first house in a squatters' village with plastic and cardboard. Although she had almost nothing, she evidently didn't accept that she was a loser. With a $100 loan from an organization committed to microlending, she opened a shop. Now, after several profitable years, she lives in a concrete block house with running water and electricity. She has taught herself to read and write, and provides schooling for an abandoned child.
Where does such winning initiative come from? It comes from the one source of all intelligence. And because it comes from the one Mind, everyone has it. Each of us can help bring it to light by praying from the standpoint of universal divine Mind.
The founder of the Monitor, who rose from poverty and illness herself, wrote in the Christian Science textbook: "The 'still, small voice' of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe's remotest bound. The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, 'as when a lion roareth.' It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 559).
Because injustice and poverty aren't conditions of God's making, they're errors, mental darkness on the subject of God's constant, blessing action. One of the great visionaries of the Bible put it this way: "There shall be showers of blessing" (Ezek. 34:26). Prayer, the affirmation of this impartial outpouring of good, shines light on human consciousness and breaks through hopelessness. It makes apparent and tangible the intelligence, health, and progress that God expresses in all His creation.
It shows that everyone is a winner.
Not more to one than to all,
is God demonstrable as divine Life, Truth, and Love; and His people are they that reflect
Him - that reflect Love.
Mary Baker Eddy
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society