Facing down “inevitabilities”
“Meep, meep!” Cue the Acme rocket as Wile E. Coyote launches himself after the Road Runner . . . only to smack into a mountainside. Again.
Chuck Jones fans around the world will recognize the coyote as the cartoon character who hurtles from one calamity to another, only to bounce back in the very next scene. That image actually offers some perspective (and perhaps a smile) for today. Jones once wrote, “There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is the willingness to think” (chuckjones.com). So we might ask, Are evil, disaster, and sickness inevitable if we are willing to think—and to pray?
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These days, the crescendo in public discussion and charting of upward spikes in crises, disease, and death reinforces a prevalent notion: The worst is yet to come, and there’s little, if anything, we can do about it. But what if instead we take this as a call to be willing to deepen our own commitment to thoughtful prayer?
Christ Jesus set the tone for our approach when he said, “Do not judge by appearance [superficially and arrogantly], but judge fairly and righteously” (John 7:24, Amplified Bible). And he modeled this fair and righteous judgment—this God-based viewpoint—by challenging and healing every presumption of the inevitability of sin, disease, and death that the world threw at him. For example, to a man who hadn’t walked for 38 years—and no one expected he ever would—Jesus said, “Rise . . . and walk.” And the man did (see John 5:5–9).
Jesus’ spiritual authority in challenging the presumption of the unavoidability of evil came from his certainty that God’s, divine Spirit’s, law—the law of good—forever prevails. Following the Master’s example, we too can cultivate the seeds of spiritually incisive thinking when we’re faced with what look like inevitabilities that would threaten our health, harmony, or progress. In fact, we can start with our own individual experience—as our family did some years ago when our daughter’s car was stolen.
It is divine power that is certain and irresistible.
She told us the police had explained that she shouldn’t get her hopes up about recovering it, since auto theft was a “fact of life” where she was living at the time. This prompted us to ask ourselves: Which mental path are we going to take? One that tolerates crime as a so-called fact of urban life, or the spiritual, authoritative view of God’s creation as reflecting harmony, stability, and safety? As our family prayed, we were inspired by a statement from Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science: “There is no power apart from God. Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 228).
Our prayers helped us realize that no matter how vivid or inescapable this harmful situation seemed to be, it could not destroy or dishonor the omnipotent Principle of good, God Himself. In fact, because it didn’t originate in God, it had no genuine source. It was illegitimate, because God, good, truly is All and is just.
Within 12 hours, our daughter received a call that her car had been located. When the police brought it back to her, she found that it was undamaged and that nothing was missing inside or out.
Christian Science shows that God’s infinite, ascendant love elevates our thoughts and lives out of apparently unavoidable evil circumstances to the understanding of God’s all-powerful love, which prevails over every evil. As we resolve to stay with the fact that God is the only power and presence, we are able to defeat every argument that some persistent harmful situation can or must run its course. We discover that “unavoidable” conditions aren’t the tangible foes they appear to be, because God’s power and presence are All—and can be felt by all, right here and right now.
Mrs. Eddy once wrote, “Predicting danger does not dignify life, whereas forecasting liberty and joy does; for these are strong promoters of health and happiness” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 240).
While it seems as though the world often glumly accepts that things will get worse before they get better, the fact is that the Christ—God’s ever-present activity of healing—causes dull, entrenched mortal thought to yield to its active, irresistible touch and wake up. And this is the blessing before us: discovering we’re not bound to surrender to any thought that evil is real and inescapable or that it must be endured or somehow “managed.” We need never cave in to any notion that cause and effect exist in threatening conditions. They don’t. We overcome the belief in evil’s supposed inevitability by acknowledging the absolute completeness of God’s all-powerful, ever-active law of good. God Himself, as divine Principle, as all-encompassing Spirit, governs the entire universe with infinite love and grace. Predictions of continued or increasing evil ultimately fall before His law of good. This fact then becomes the scientifically spiritual ground on which we can stand to silence the fierce arguments of “inevitable” chaos and gloom.
How persistently clear we need to be; how conclusively we need to affirm the complete goodness of God’s creation, with each of us made in God’s image and likeness! And from this enlightened standpoint, we realize that it is the destruction of anything ungodlike that is truly inevitable. We find that it is divine power—not a prediction of evil—that is certain and irresistible.
With that, we as thinkers, pray-ers, and healers can help our brothers and sisters in our communities and around the world understand that mankind’s way forward is safe and sure. There simply is no inevitable evil to send us spiraling downward—or smacking into a mountainside! We all are sheltered forever in the infinite, inevitable benevolence of God’s love.
Guest Editorial Writer