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Rejecting the notion of chance

From the April 18, 2016 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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“Wow, you’re so lucky! What’s the chance that you would be in just the right spot to meet the man of your dreams?”

Several years ago a co-worker expressed this sentiment to me when she found out that I had just met a really terrific guy. While I was grateful to have the opportunity to get to know someone delightful, I realized that thinking luck had anything to do with it was a mental trap. Believing this was so would only support the false concept that we live an uncertain existence, subject to the inconsistencies of a mortal life that is sometimes good, sometimes evil, mostly uncertain.

We learn from the Bible that God is the only creator and governor—governing by law, not by chance. Because God is good, then what He creates is good and what governs all of us is good. This fact is law to God’s spiritual creation because it leaves no room for anything but good. 

As the children of an all-loving God, we are always enveloped in God’s heavenly love. We have biblical assurance that God loves us so much that even the “very hairs of your head are all numbered,” as Christ Jesus said (Matthew 10:30). If God is Love, and we are Love’s reflection, it’s not possible for us to be controlled by chance. 

We learn from the Bible that God is the only creator and governor—governing by law, not by chance.

I had been actively praying with these ideas for several months, knowing that all the good unfolding in my life came as a result of God’s love for man and wasn’t subject to the whims of chance. Mary Baker Eddy states in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “In divine Science, the universe, including man, is spiritual, harmonious, and eternal” (p. 114) and, “Science includes no rule of discord, but governs harmoniously” (p. 219). So when an unlikely sequence of events led me to attend an event where I met the delightful someone my friend was saying I was “lucky” to find, my reaction was only to praise God for His loving guidance.

It’s not always easy to refute the barrage of suggestions that this world is chancy and that luck plays a strong part in our ability to survive or thrive. Natural disasters seemingly strike without warning, disease apparently attacks with or without a reason, financial markets appear to fluctuate and spin out of control. 

These terrible things need to be dealt with seriously through prayer, but in doing so it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that they represent the testimony of the false material senses, and we don’t have to accept, to our detriment, that this testimony is law. Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Accepting the verdict of these material senses, we should believe man and the universe to be the football of chance and sinking into oblivion” (Rudimental Divine Science, p. 5).

It’s important to vigorously challenge the belief that chance controls our life. We have divine authority for challenging and denying what the material senses present and affirming the actual spiritual truth of our inseparable relation to God, good. This brings healing. 

We see more clearly that God’s man is not susceptible to chance. In Truth, man is whole, complete, intact. We are safe and secure because we are the expression of God, who is Himself “changeless goodness” (Unity of Good, p. 26), as Mrs. Eddy puts it. The more we understand these truths, the more we realize that we are subject only to God’s goodness, and that we don’t need to fear evil.

We are not victims of luck, or chance; we are governed by God, good.

Several years ago these truths rescued me from feeling very fearful. I had spent a long day working out of town, and I still had to drive across a mountain pass to reach the next day’s workplace. Somewhere on the narrow, winding road, I dozed off and suddenly awoke to find my car heading off the road at a high speed. I was able to regain control of the car and slow down, and within a few miles there was a small town, where I was able to stop for the night. But I found myself shaking with fear. By the time I settled into my hotel room for the night I was really scared, and sure that only luck had saved me. I wasn’t looking forward to my trip back across the mountains the following night after another long day of working.  

I decided to turn to my copy of Science and Health to gain freedom from this fear, and I was comforted to read this statement: “Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God’s unerring direction and thus bring out harmony.

“Under divine Providence there can be no accidents, since there is no room for imperfection in perfection” (p. 424). 

These assurances of God’s “unerring direction” calmed my thought, and praying with these ideas during the night removed my fear. I awoke to the fact that God was the source of my being and that my life must always reflect harmony. I was not “subject to chance and change” (Science and Health, p. 486). The peace I gained that night has stayed with me ever since, and I have driven thousands of miles without fear.

I love this line of a beloved hymn: “Governed by Love, you’re safe and secure” (Désirée Goyette, Christian Science Hymnal Supplement: Hymns 430–462, No. 444). We are not victims of luck, or chance; we are governed by God, good, who provides us only with good. 

And that terrific guy I met? He’s been my much-loved husband now for over ten years, not by chance, but by divine guidance!

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