Never the wrong time or place for good
It seemed impossible that we would be able to build even a very modest house, until our prayers opened up a wealth of spiritual ideas and opportunities to act on.
Conventional wisdom says there are good times and bad times—times in history or in one’s life when opportunities abound, and other times when opportunities dry up and one just has to wait out a slump and hope for a better time.
Yet even in those “bad” times, some people and businesses have prospered. At the height of the Great Depression, the Blake Brothers of Springfield, Massachusetts, opened an ice cream shop named Friendly, and the business (currently known as Friendly’s) expanded and prospered for decades. Business giants General Motors, General Electric, and IBM were also started during dire economic times.
Were these people just lucky, or perhaps smarter than everyone else? Or were they successful because they had a good idea—an idea that would supply something of value to others?
Good ideas are powerful, and the good news is that the divine intelligence we call God—the source of all inspiration—has an infinite supply of them. This infinite resource doesn’t flow freely for a while then dry up according to economic cycles. Neither is it more available in some geographic locations than in others.
I love what Christ Jesus told his disciples in the biblical account of feeding thousands of people (see Matthew 14:15–21). The crowd had followed Jesus into the desert, had been with him all day, and had nothing to eat. The disciples said to Jesus, “This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.”
Since God is the unlimited source of all good, His supply is always full and available.
Jesus’ response showed that he didn’t accept the argument that the availability of good was dependent on time or place. “They need not depart,” he said. “Give ye them to eat.” Then, “looking up to heaven,” giving thanks to God, he proceeded to feed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish, which multiplied as they were broken and shared.
That story would be ludicrous if matter were really the substance of everything. But Jesus was showing us something about Spirit, divine Love—that it is infinite, present everywhere and at all times. That it is real, substantial, and available to meet every need abundantly. And that matter is not substantial and therefore not the iron hand it seems to be, limiting the good we can experience.
So how do we access all that good? First, perhaps, by “looking up to heaven,” as Jesus did—by looking to God, ever-caring Love, as the source of all good. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, explains: “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 307).
My husband and I experienced the blessings of that promise several years after finishing college and getting married. We had two very young children and had been saving up for a home of our own. We had bought a piece of land, where we planned to build a house, but a big economic swing sent interest rates soaring. When mortgage rates hit 16 percent, it seemed impossible that we would be able to build even a very modest house in the foreseeable future. This was very discouraging to me, as there didn’t seem to be anything we could do about it.
However, my husband and I were used to turning to God for everything, and our prayers in this case opened up a wealth of spiritual ideas and opportunities to act on. A Christian Science practitioner whom I called to pray with us pointed out the fallacy of thinking that we couldn’t afford something needful now but would (hopefully) be able to in the future.
The same laws Jesus proved are present and operative in all times and places.
The practitioner helped me see that since God is the unlimited source of all good, His supply is always full and available. If an idea, such as the idea of home, has utility, then we can “afford” it, or expect to have the appropriate expression of it in our experience, for God is the source and substance of that idea, and He gives us all good, spiritually.
The practitioner wasn’t recommending that we do anything reckless or impulsive, of course, but was encouraging a shift in thought that would bring about a financial solution. Remember, “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies.”
My husband’s prayers led him to a fresh take on the concept of supply. He now saw it as involving one’s capacity to supply another’s need. Shortly after this, we held a yard sale, and the town librarian, seeing a valuable collection of technical magazines my husband had put out, asked him if he’d be willing to donate them to the library. Remembering the insight he’d had about supply, my husband
A few days later he got a call from a man who had found his name on the address label of one of the magazines. The man needed help solving a technical problem, and he ended up giving my husband a substantial consulting contract.
Around the same time, it felt right to call some local banks about a building loan. One loan officer was positive we could get a loan, despite our circumstances and that bank’s conservative policies. On the day our loan was approved, the interest rate had dipped briefly to 11 percent, and by the time our house was built and our long-term mortgage processed, the rate had dropped to a reasonable figure.
From a limited, material point of view, all this might seem like one lucky, unrepeatable instance. But from the standpoint of scientific prayer—of acknowledging God as infinite, ever-present Love, divine Spirit, and man (each one of us) as God’s loved child or spiritual idea—it was a natural demonstration of timeless spiritual law.
The same laws Jesus proved in feeding the multitudes and healing the sick are present and operative in all times and places. The Bible contains them, and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy explains how to make them practical. Like Jesus giving thanks before breaking the five loaves, we can be so grateful that divine Love is ever available and more than able to meet everyone’s needs. We just need to seek God and be open to making that shift in thought that comes from understanding Him better.