New Thought Editorials > God Meant It For Good


Winter 2002

God Meant It For Good

The catastrophic events of September 11 have irrevocably changed every American. We find ourselves living in a world that is suddenly very different, a world that requires us to adjust quickly. Despite our good intentions and good works, we find that we have enemies who are devoted to our annihilation, who hate everything that we stand for. Our security has been breached, and the wind has been knocked out of us. We have every human right to mourn our losses. Our customary optimism is once more being tested.

One of God’s primary activities is to mitigate the often unfortunate results of human free will. A helpful prayer at such times of crisis is, "Show us the good in this situation." We learn, as did Joseph in Genesis 37-50, that although human beings may have intended evil in an action, God meant it for good.

The events of September 11 and what has ensued have caused us to rethink our beliefs. Therefore, this crisis can become a creative opportunity for increased understanding and growth. We can renew our faith, tighten our spiritual discipline, learn that our strength is not in steel beams that buckle, but in God’s presence, as in the stalwart rescuers who saved lives and cleaned up the mess, allowing daily life to resume. The terrorists destroyed buildings that they saw as symbols, but they could not destroy our way of life, our prosperity founded on principles of democracy and free enterprise, our individual freedoms, and our unity as one nation under God. Like Viktor Frankl facing the horror of the Nazi concentration camps, we have learned that no one can control our thoughts except ourselves.

Most people in New Thought believe in life after death. We believe that in the September 11 calamities, no lives were snuffed out, merely their present phase of activity. Even as God continues to be present, those spirits continue to be alive and influential. Only their physical bodies were destroyed.

A new year brings a new era and a new beginning. Although we are no longer isolated from terrorism, we are also never isolated from God. All people are equal in the eyes of God. God is everywhere present, equally available to Muslims and Christians, Jews and Buddhists; and God’s mitigating good has come and will come to us all. The world has received a wake-up call. Where we have been negligent, lax, or permissive, we can resolve to raise our own standards of conduct. Where others have missed the mark, they can learn from our example.

Our great opportunity as New Thoughters is to see what can be, not to judge by appearances. In the play known as the book of Job, Satan the tempter is the employee of God, his job being to test us so that we will grow spiritually. Jesus taught us to love our enemies, and at times, that needs to be a tough love. We can love them enough to expect and demand better behavior from them, and we can set them an example of firm beliefs that nonetheless allow others the freedom to hold their own beliefs.

New Thought is not merely cheerful platitudes; it includes what we say to ourselves when things go wrong. It is the deliberate effort to turn our attention from what we do not want to what we do want, from terror and ruin to freedom and prosperity. It is our moral obligation to lead the rest of humankind in this mastery of our states of mind.