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Leaving it to God—or to chance?

From The Christian Science Journal - January 21, 2013


As an undergraduate at Rochester Institute of Technology, I was required to take a course in statistical analysis. Although the course was rather forgettable, one concept intrigued me: “Poisson Probability,” the work of Siméon-Denis Poisson in the 1830s. Poisson was a statistician specializing in “non-events”—things which did not take place within a given time period, such as: How many hurricanes did not strike in a certain year, or how many wars didn’t erupt during a particular time period. He focused on the unknown, on what might have happened, but didn’t.

By viewing Poisson’s hypothesis from a metaphysical standpoint, the blessings in my life, such as harmony, love, integrity, joy, peace, abundance, are now much more my focus—rather than the potential obstacles and undesirable situations from which I have been spared. Because our experience is ordered by God, and is not a lottery of human events, there are no random occurrences or “non-events,” as postulated by Poisson.

It’s reassuring to know that our loving Father-Mother God never sends us problems in order to teach us lessons. Although so-called “evil” can come to us in the guise of good, genuine good never comes to us in the guise of evil. God is the source of infinite good, and His allness is aware only of its own perfection. God does not know of twists of fortune, astrological alignments, statistical curves, averages, random probabilities, or accidents. Principle, God, is entirely dependable—and available to everyone, regardless of geographic location, age, level of education, or financial success. Good derived from God is loving, universal, constant, and unaffected by any perceived material circumstances.

God does not know of twists of fortune, astrological alignments, statistical curves, averages, random probabilities, or accidents. 

While driving over a long suspension bridge in San Francisco, I experienced a potentially dangerous automotive problem involving an engine malfunction. What didn’t happen, or what could have happened, isn’t nearly as important as the truth which the situation attempted to obscure from my thought—namely, that divine Mind is the only mechanism. The high-tech automotive failure I was experiencing not only posed immediate danger to me and the cars around me, but alarmed and angered me greatly. 

I realized then and there that the word danger is very closely related to the word anger—only the letter d separates them. To “de” something means to remove from (i.e., deicing an aircraft wing removes the ice from the wing; demagnetizing removes the magnetism from something; decontaminating removes the contamination; etc.). And so what I realized I needed to do in that moment was to “de-anger” my thought—with the healing solvent of omnipresent Love.

I knew my safety could not be compromised, because I was in my right place, exactly where God wanted me to be, doing exactly what I needed to do. I could not injure or be injured. I could only be blessed and bless others. And so right then protection was being confirmed for others, too.

Poisson’s theory of probability might well view driving “defensively” as a preventative measure, thereby insuring a “non-event,” but Christian Science establishes our being in the “consciousness of Love” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 578). In spite of the potential danger, nothing “bad” happened to me, my car, or others on the road. The following day, the engine was repaired. I don’t see this as a “non-event” but rather a proclamation of good, of God’s protecting care.

Since that class years ago, Siméon-Denis Poisson has changed my perspective altogether. I am no longer relieved that “non-events” don’t happen, but attempt to see infinite good—derived from God—as affirmative, universal, and loving—available to everyone, everywhere, at this very moment.

There is no “probability” in God’s goodness. It surrounds us and supports us continuously. All we need to do is acknowledge it and be grateful for it.


Tom Taffel lives in San Francisco, and arranges luxury group tours around the world.

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