Many of us probably know the feeling. We begin a worthwhile activity with excellent motives and the highest hopes—but then it stalls, stops, or maybe even reverses, and completion seems beyond our reach.
It’s like the tale in classical mythology about Tantalus, the man condemned by the gods to perpetual hunger and thirst. Although he was placed in the middle of a lake where the water was up to his chin, and although beautiful fruit hung right before his eyes, the water and fruit always drew back when he reached for them. The name Tantalus is the origin of the English verb “to tantalize.” To be tantalized, or teased, means that something especially desirable is often just out of one’s reach.
In the study and practice of Christian Science, there may be times when it seems our prayers have gone unfinished or unanswered—that solutions are beyond our reach. Think, perhaps, of a physical healing that’s not completed; a damaged relationship unresolved; a financial need not properly met.
What’s our answer, then? To stop striving for completeness and accept second best? Never! Christian Science shows us that we should accept only what is acceptable to divine Love—to God. And what’s acceptable to Him is nothing less than the continuous activity of the Christ-power, bringing fulfillment to our lives through God’s law of completion.
God’s law is always expressed in completeness. His work is finished. It’s orderly, good, whole. In describing His creation as taking place in seven days, the Bible emphasizes its completeness, perfection, and consummation: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (see Genesis 1:1–31 and Genesis 2:1).
This divine law of completion is God’s will for each of us. As we carry out His purpose and righteous activity, we are ensured of total, not partial, success. We can confidently expect full demonstration of perfect health, freedom, and harmony in every aspect of our daily lives, individually and collectively.
Christian Science shows us that we should accept only what is acceptable to divine Love—to God.
The Sentinel’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote: “If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, he will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 21). Moving forward into this new year, we can expect that our individual and collective course forward is already complete—not just beginning or partway there. Understanding that God, divine Mind—infinite intelligence and wisdom—is in complete control enables us to exchange negative views of inertia and frustration for spiritually grounded confidence and expectation.
With that recognition, there cease to be halfway positions, second-best compromises, insufficient health, or unfinished demonstrations. God’s work, including us as His ideas, is forever finished—already complete, perfect and polished to the highest degree of excellence.