In the beginning, my search for God was more like an intellectual exercise that eventually leads to an emotional response. I can not believe without understanding. I hear a lot of people talking about loving God. What does that mean? How do I love something I can’t define? Well, I need to define a term, to tell you what it means to me. I had to define God.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy defines God this way:
“God. The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.”
WOW, that is a mouth full, but what does it mean? Let’s start with eternal. Another word for eternal is infinite which means unlimited and endless. If something is infinite that means there is nothing outside of it, it takes up all space. Nothing can be outside of something infinite because it is all-encompassing, everlasting and timeless, it goes on forever. So, where does that leave me? To me, that means I exist in God. Acts 17:28 “For in him we live, and move, and have our being;” Based on what infinite means, I can buy that. I am His idea, He thought me up. 🙂
Let’s move on to Principle. The dictionary defines principle in many ways. Here are some of them that apply in my mind to God.
Principle: “The main form of the verb, which expresses existence, from which all other forms are derived.” This means to me that the main form of existence is God as Creator, he is a state of being, and I am derived from him and all things are good. Anything that is not good does not apply to me, as the image and likeness of God. It doesn’t matter who my human parents are, I am his child, and though I walk in the flesh, I am his spiritual likeness.
“Principle is a fundamental truth for a chain of reasoning.” Everything should be reasoned from God (cause) to his creation (effect) man, and the universe. A priori reasoning is correct reasoning, cause to effect. Reasoning from an effect back to cause is ambiguous, it is backward.
Most things in this material world are reasoned from effect back to cause. Even our legal system does it. This person killed someone (effect), what made him do it (cause), what was his motive. Without a motive, they can’t convict. I am not happy, what caused it? My friend doesn’t call me anymore, what caused it? Everything mental and physical that happens starts with effect in this material world, and we search to find the cause.
“Principle is a basic source, a Law, a fixed rule of conduct.” God is our source, and that source is Love, he is the law of Love, and the fixed rule of conduct is Love.
Now, this is something I can love. I love Principle, and since Principle is a synonym of God then I love God, how could I not love something that makes such good sense. There is only one Principle, God, and that is the source of man and the universe. Now I feel it.
I learned to love myself as God’s spiritual child. When things go wrong now, I step back and see myself as part of His beautiful creation, and that helps me know this experience here, in a different light and shows me what I need to change in my thought, and the steps to take to make changes in my life, when needed. Some times when I change my perception of what is happening, that’s all that is required, the situation just changes for the better. It’s incredible how that happens.
I hope this is starting to make some sense to you. It took me a long time to catch on to some of these ideas, but when I did, WOW, what a difference it made in my life. I had found something I could depend on. When I reasoned from God (cause) to his spiritual creation (effect) and saw what he did and didn’t create, my life changed for the better.
There are seven synonyms, that come from the Bible, that Mrs. Eddy uses in her definition of God, and I’ll address more of them in later blogs. But this is a lot to take in so will stop here for now. I’m not trying to change anyone else’s beliefs, just sharing mine. Everyone has to find their own path.
Mrs. Eddy says in the Science and Health that “desire is prayer.” My deepest desire was to learn how to love, and to become a better and more productive person. Well, God heard my prayer, and all the tools I needed to make that happen just fell in my lap.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matt. 7:7-8