Simple answers, seismic solutions

Just because a problem looks impossibly complex does not mean the solution needs to be equally complicated.

Consider a much-loved Bible story. A widow has run through her resources. The creditor pounds at the door. Her two sons are about to be seized and pressed into service as bondmen to the creditor. But wait! The prophet Elisha enters the scene. He questions the widow. “What hast thou in the house?” She replies with an openness about her circumstances that may hint an openness to spiritual remedies. “Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil” (see II Kings 4). Elisha apparently senses more is on hand, and the widow’s simple answer leads to a seismic solution. Elisha directs her to canvass the neighborhood, collect as many empty containers as possible, and fill them with the oil from her own pot. The many containers are filled. From the woman’s original and inauspicious response to Elisha’s “What hast thou in the house?” came an unexpected and lasting solution.

There’s a consistent basis for such happenings. Ultimately, there is only one fountainhead for problem-solving ideas. That is the one God, the one all-knowing Mind, the sure and certain source of all goodness, of all inspired ideas. This Mind operates with scientific consistency. It provides innovative insights. Almost certainly the prophet Elisha realized on some level something of the divine nature and something of how the Divine provides for its creation. Did that realization—that prayer—propel even further Elisha’s turn to the Divine? Plainly, that prayer resulted in difficulties resolved, solutions found. It was a matter of first glimpsing the resources of Mind as within his reach and then mentally grasping them.

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April 23, 2012

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