This house of God is open for you; the Lord has been waiting to see you come home.
A place to leave behind the past, to have the
fullness of the present,
and to look forward to the bright future.
Thousands of people recently found their plans changed because volcanic ash blowing from Iceland caused many airline flights to be canceled. Such acts of nature, including ones more destructive than the volcanic eruption, demand that we make new plans, and this may be challenging. In addition to the time, effort, and expense involved in getting things back on schedule, such incidents often have serious consequences in people’s lives.
Many passengers needed to rethink their plans. At such times, human details crowd in, making us fearful or confused about what to do next. If we turn to an unchanging God for the needed direction, we find a rock upon which to rest. Truth, which the Bible reveals as another name for God, is unchanging. Fundamental, spiritual truth is untouched by changing human circumstances. That this truth is changeless enables us to meet shifting circumstances with equanimity because we know that God is a stable resource for us.
Some of us may be led to pray about specific details affecting the situation – restoration of order, safe travel, and so forth. What I’ve found helpful is to pray from the standpoint of holding the belief that God’s harmony has never been interrupted, and that since the man and woman He created are his reflection, our harmony hasn’t been interrupted either.
In the universe of an all-good, omnipotent God, mistakes have no place. Two plus two will never equal anything but four. This simple example gives a little insight into the permanence of spiritual good. To take the arithmetic example a little further, we’ll probably all agree that even mistakenly believing the answer is five instead of four can’t change the mathematical fact. When we apply such information correctly, we’re saved from disharmony, whatever our situation may be.
Now suppose we apply prayer to the areas and people that have been affected by the volcanic ash or other unexpected occurrences. If we pray from the standpoint of God’s perfection and control over His creation, we can expect harmony to emerge, even when things haven’t seemed to be going right. This is possible because our prayers are based on God’s principles for guidance and also for correction. This approach brings about change for the better.
The correction may take form as a more spiritualized view of the situation and an ability to perceive at least some good in it. This helps us resist the temptation to accept the conclusion that we are the victims of our own or anyone else’s mistakes or of nature’s sometimes unexpected actions.
Prayer enables us to turn from a variable course of action to bring ourselves more in line with God’s unchanging harmony. Such a change in thought will open us up to a new path that will bring us closer to living in this peace and satisfaction. The basic truths that are involved never change but remain the mental building blocks of any new effort. God himself reveals his nature, “I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6).
When the unexpected happens, we can turn to this unchangeable God and find new and inspired directions. We can trust that our overall plan will not be “consumed,” but that we’ll find a different avenue for fulfillment.
In God, who is Infinite Intelligence, divine wisdom is always available for us to call upon for direction. The glorious fact is that neither our mistakes nor unexpected events affect this absolute truth of being. Truth remains intact; we can always learn more of it and apply that knowledge to any situation. There will never be a time when we are compelled to act without divine inspiration. There is always a way out. We can meet any challenge with prayerful direction. When circumstances – or even our own wisdom – demand that plans be changed, we don’t need to feel trapped in indecision. Unchanging wisdom is only a prayer away.
In His Light,
Bishop Raymond Contois