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Only infinite options

From The Christian Science Journal - March 27, 2012

It seems all too often we are told that we have limited options—limited income, limited choices, or limited possibilities for our lives. It can seem, too, that the older we get, the greater the limitations we face. 

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a dear friend many years ago. She was very discouraged over some personal issues. Things became so desperate that she saw no hope or resolution to her problems. She described her prospects as things either staying the same (which were really bad), getting worse (which seemed likely), or taking legal action and in the process almost certainly losing everything that was important to her. 

I told her that God had ways to help that perhaps she had not thought of, and that prayer would reveal those ways. Being engulfed in the challenge, she disagreed with me and refused to believe things could get better. But they did get better in ways she had not realized could happen. 

The fact that, through prayer, God reveals possibilities that we have not yet discovered has been very useful to me. I’ve seen what looked like dismal career, relationship, and financial choices either expand to other more favorable options, or sometimes to one clear, beautiful way forward that restored harmony and brought progress.

In my own life, there was a time when our family income felt very limited. I was concerned how my wife and I would be able to pay the mortgage payments on our first house and still have enough left over for other expenses. It was clear through prayer that more receptivity to God was needed. Within months a new opportunity was presented that had previously been discarded as a viable option—one that expanded my career as well as our income.

As I’ve given further thought to this, I’ve begun to realize that the nature of God—being all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever present—could never provide something less than a perfect, loving resolution. How could an all-good God ever settle for something less than all good? How could infinite Mind, the source of all wisdom and intelligence, not come up with the perfect answer for each one of us?

Embracing the "perception of infinite possibilities" is a powerful, healing stance. It's a realization that income, purpose, and relationships are truly all God-given.

One day it hit me that God never works in multiple choice answers. We are the ones who do that. We often look out over our problems and think our only possibilities are “A,” “B,” “C,” or, “none of the above.” For instance: “I have only so much money coming in every month, and it’s not enough.” “My life doesn’t have much of a purpose anymore.” “I don’t have many friends or the friends I want.” “My best days are behind me.” That’s how a mortal perspective on life can look, and it’s terribly depressing!

Thank God that’s not how He works! In prayer, when we affirm divine Love’s constant care and eternal wisdom, we realize how we each individually reflect that wisdom—bringing new options and possibilities to thought we never saw before. Those possibilities were always there, but hidden by what we might call limited material-sense thinking. 

Believing in a material, or mortal, cause and effect is always limiting. As Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy states: “A false sense of life, substance, and mind hides the divine possibilities, and conceals scientific demonstration” (pp. 325–326). But spiritual reasoning assigns all cause to God, who is infinite, unconditional Love. Starting with God is a whole lot more uplifting than a limited mortal perspective.

Mrs. Eddy wrote about Jesus’ resurrection as being a kind of resurrection for his disciples. It was a huge shift in their perspective, one that enabled them to heal as Jesus did. Regarding this resurrection, she wrote: “It helped them to raise themselves and others from spiritual dulness and blind belief in God into the perception of infinite possibilities” (Science and Health, p. 34).

Before the resurrection, the disciples had been doubtful, fearful, and not all that effective in their prayers for others. But after the resurrection, they lost their mortal perspective with its fears and doubts, increased their faith and understanding, and were known as healers. Isn’t this uplift what we need, too?

Embracing the “perception of infinite possibilities” is a powerful, healing stance. It’s a realization that income, purpose, and relationships are truly all God-given. Divine gifts come in amazing ways. The New Testament promises, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). And Mrs. Eddy wrote: “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (Science and Health, p. 13). 

When we make this perspective our foundation, we have every reason to expect that God’s gifts of love will be perfectly adapted to our situation no matter how desperate, chronic, or limited it has seemed. This “impartial and universal” divine Love knows that your best days are not in the past, but right in front of you!

Phil Davis is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher from the Chicago, Illinois, area.

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