Some years ago a friend of mine set an interesting goal for himself. He said he wanted to remove the words I need from his vocabulary.
I know why he felt that way. We were working together in a brand new department; we had a heavy workload, inflexible deadlines, and very few resources. During most workdays it seemed as if every comment heard on the floor (and some were voiced quite strongly) began with “I need…”
My friend might have been aware that that pattern was troubling me, too.
Many of us understand what it means to go without. It may be a lack of basic resources, of purpose, of friendship, of employment, of shelter. Whatever it is we believe we lack, there’s something to be said for what we can never lack. We can never be without the inexhaustible resources of Spirit, God.
This is more important to our well-being than we may realize. The tangible, constructive, spiritual ideas that come from God, divine Mind, are never in short supply and they aren’t dependent on matter or personal circumstances. These ideas give us realistic aims, they guide our progress, they provide practical help in meeting the whole range of human needs, and they reveal our worthiness as the intelligently and tenderly cared-for children of God, our Father-Mother.
In his Sermon on the Mount, Christ Jesus spoke of the constancy and completeness of our Father’s love in unmistakable terms. For example: “If God so clothe the grass of the field … shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”
As offspring of divine Love we’re naturally given our rightful provision. It couldn’t be otherwise. We don’t have to beg God to see us as worthy of having our needs met. Mary Baker Eddy explained scientific prayer as the outgrowth of a correct understanding of God as infinite Love. In Science and Health she asks, “Shall we plead for more at the open fount, which is pouring forth more than we accept?” Isn’t this also saying that our need is not to inform God how much we don’t have but to listen to what He’s telling us we do have—to discern spiritually the completeness of His creation and how to accept more of it.
A department manager I know had an opportunity to learn more about God’s unfailing provision. This man had been hoping to do some much-needed research for his department but he couldn’t see how best to obtain some very specific information. Though he’d been giving it a lot of thought throughout the week, he’d only been seeing the situation from a business perspective. One morning on his way into the office he overheard several employees talking about how dissatisfied they were with their work. So in addition to lacking any idea as to how he might proceed with his own research project, he now had a handful of unhappy employees. That’s when he realized it was time to stop everything and get a broader, higher – spiritual – perspective.
What immediately came to mind was something he’d read earlier that morning in Science and Health: “As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible.”
He was familiar with the sentence but couldn’t see what it had to do with this particular situation. At lunch he went to a nearby Christian Science Reading Room to continue his spiritual research and prayer. He began by reading the Bible Lesson, when he came upon a familiar verse from Genesis: “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
At that point he stopped and thought, “The way things are going for me, I can’t imagine seeing everything as very good. I can’t even imagine one minute of seeing everything as very good. Gosh, I’d welcome ten seconds of seeing everything as very good!”
That’s when the implications of what he’d been admitting dawned on him. He realized he had been disbelieving God and the actuality of His perfect spiritual creation. He was feeling, in effect, that he couldn’t imagine such goodness.
After a bit more study he returned to his office only to discover two interesting changes. First, someone came into his office just to tell him how much he enjoyed working in the department, and mentioned that he knew that many others felt the same way. That was a welcome surprise! If that wasn’t enough, within moments it occurred to him precisely how his research project could be done completely and satisfactorily. Both needs met within moments.
He recalled the first statement that had come to him that morning: “As mortals gain more correct views of God and man…” That’s what had taken place. His momentary disbelief in God’s consistently good creation had been corrected. The sentence continues, “… multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible.” The objects — in this case good attitudes and ideas — that he hadn’t seen before had become visible.
It was a great lesson in many respects, but, most important, it confirmed to him that God’s children are never left without.
Recall that Moses reminded the children of Israel what they’d experienced throughout their passage from Egypt—above all, how God had never left them uncared for. “He knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness,” Moses told them; “these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.”
All that this same God gives to each of us is always present. It’s very good and it’s ours to accept.