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How Big Is Our World?

From the November 29, 1975 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Mrs. Eddy's first words in the Preface to Science and Health are: "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings." Science and Health, p. vii; No little crutch of safe personal interests is offered here, no cozy circle of old friends and familiar places, nor even the orthodox material view of our world as a tiny whirling speck of dust in a universe of other whirling specks of dust. If we are to enjoy the limitless blessings of God's day opened up to us by Christian Science, we need to lean on nothing less than "the sustaining infinite"; we need to acknowledge God as infinite creative intelligence and man as God's infinite spiritual idea living in the infinite universe of spiritual ideas.

But let us start a little farther back. How big is your world? How big is mine? Is it what Shakespeare described as "the great globe itself," or is it some half-dozen streets around our home and place of work? Is it a tight little world made up of a few friends and personal interests, sometimes comfortable and sometimes less so? Or, if we take a somewhat larger view, is it still only that whirling speck of dust?

The last words of Christ Jesus just before his ascension may have come as a surprise to his small group of faithful friends. These were young men, of no particular worldly distinction, members of a subject people remote from the earthly centers of power, no doubt speaking Greek and Latin, to whatever extent they did, with a provincial accent. Yet Jesus told them, "Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæ, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:8;

Today the charge of Christian Science is no less wide. The first chapter of Science and Health opens with an emphasis on expansive thought: "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God—a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love." Science and Health, p. 1; Christian Science does not teach us to have faith that a few easy things are possible to God—perhaps the healing of functional but not organic disease. We need "an absolute faith that all things are possible to God." And reforming and healing love must be unselfed. Small thoughts, small loves, are selfish. To be unselfed our thoughts and loves must reach out to the uttermost ends of the universe and beyond; they must reflect in individual fashion infinite divine intelligence and all-embracing divine Love.

Many of us have had the experience during some eventful period in world history of finding our thoughts constantly reverting to ourselves and our small difficulties. Or we may have a friend who announces to us, "This is really being an eventful week," and then embarks on a saga of his or her small personal problems. We need to be compassionate, for such problems can loom large and must certainly be resolved. But the first step in resolving them may well be a lift of thought to "the sustaining infinite," to the God with whom all things are possible, to unselfed love for our world and our fellowmen.

The healing operation of Christian Science is like "the finger of God" Jesus spoke of. Tenderly and precisely it adjusts every smallest detail of our thought and experience. It reveals to us the activity of God as compassionate Father-Mother, as kindly all-wise Physician, as the educating intelligence and unfailing friend of every identity in His universe, caring for all as though each were His only and most precious child.

Yet at the same time Christian Science healing operates as "the arm of the Lord" Isaiah speaks of. It reveals God's infinite power reaching to the most distant parts of the earth, to the highest mountain peaks and the lowest ocean deeps, to the stars, the galaxies, the farthest island universes. It shows unerring Principle present and operative everywhere with the irresistible authority of spiritual law. It assures us that, however far we penetrate into these immensities, the sustaining law and love of God are there to support us.

Mrs. Eddy says of herself, "I am not patient with a speck of dirt." ibid., p. 413. She is speaking of personal and domestic cleanliness. But if she had been speaking of her world view, these words would have been equally true. For her the world was never small, never a whirling speck of matter among countless other whirling specks of matter. She read widely and was deeply interested in the world and the universe. But always she looked beyond human knowledge and progress to what these hinted of man's eternal spiritual destiny.

And Mrs. Eddy expected Christian Scientists to take this same wide view of the world. Her founding of The Christian Science Monitor is but one indication of this. The wider view, valuable in itself, also provides the leverage for our better coping with the smallest of daily concerns. Apparently immovable obstacles roll easily aside when we stand back and use a lever. A large Spiritbased concept of our world and our universe can be just that lever; it can open thought to "the sustaining infinite" and make every day big with blessings.

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