I REMEMBER when I was in high school, having a conversation with my dad about our family finances. He had a paycheck in front of him, and to this day I can recall, in essence, what he said: "This check is not the source of our family's income. Our supply comes from the ideas behind the projects I work on. Dollars are finite, but ideas are infinite. They come directly from God and will always be there to meet our needs."
I've found Dad's counsel helpful as I consider the world's seemingly insatiable demand for new sources and forms of energy today. The very same principle applies. What he said also reminds me of something I've pondered many times from Science and Health: "Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul" (p. 269). I'm certain that our energy security will be assured to the degree that we do just that—give up a limited view of our apparently available resources (things) for a greater understanding of the unlimited intelligence and ingenuity (thoughts) we all possess as reflections of God, divine Mind.
Consider some advances already made: Freight trains can move up to one ton of cargo 500 miles on only one gallon of fuel, a 90 percent increase over the last 30 years. And some automobiles are averaging over 50 miles per gallon.
But this is peanuts compared to the efficiencies achieved by Jesus, who thousands of years ago "fueled" multitudes on only a few loaves of bread and a few fish (see Matt. 14:15-21 and 15:32-38). He understood, and was able to prove for the benefit of others, that God's provision for His creation—whether it's in the form of food, energy, or any other essential resource—is entirely spiritual. This fact is as true today as it was in Jesus' time.
So, where does this understanding—not to mention all these energy-saving, energy-producing inventions—come from? Christian Science teaches that it derives from God Himself, divine Spirit; and that man, as the reflection of God, includes and has the capacity to express all good and right ideas. I can recall one evening when an electrical blackout left our church in the dark just before a testimony meeting was about to start. Thanks to some quick and creative thinking (which involved hooking up a motor home generator to multiple light fixtures), we had the entire church lit up in no time. No doubt the prayers of our members, and the understanding that the |desire to give gratitude to God couldn't be dimmed, were an important part of the solution. This showed me that when energy seemed to be in short supply, a simple exchange of things (material assessments) for thoughts (spiritual inspirations) could provide immediate and practical proof of God's constant care.
Although this example may seem trivial compared to the world's enormous energy needs, innovative ideas can provide solutions on all levels. It's important to remember that in metaphysics, as in math, the same rule applies on both the small and large scale. It's also helpful to acknowledge that divine providence—whenever, wherever, and in whatever manner it appears—is not something afforded to some and not to others. It is, by its very nature, infinite, eternal, universal, not to mention completely safe and reliable.
The Bible promises that eventually all our needs will be met, not through nuclear, solar, wind, or any other material means, but through a deeper understanding of God. In describing his vision of "new Jerusalem" in the book of Revelation, St. John tells us that this city "had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it" (Rev. 21:23). I take this to mean that by gaining even a glimpse of God's infinite power and presence, humanity's every need can be met.
BY GAINING EVEN A GLIMPSE OF GOD'S INFINITE POWER AND PRESENCE, HUMANITY'S EVERY NEED CAN BE MET.
Responsible choices and uses of energy resources will come naturally as we endeavor to express more fully our God-given sense of wisdom, economy, and love for humanity. But even more important, and ultimately more beneficial, is getting in the habit of exchanging a limited, material view of things for the infinite thoughts or ideas behind the situation. For those feeling the energy pinch, and even those who aren't, persistent spiritual resistance to any suggestion of material limitation will be essential to achieve true security—that is, the universal recognition of God as our most reliable resource.
Eric Nelson is a Christian Science practitioner. He lives in Los Altos, California.
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