Rachel Crandell Sustainability 
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I think about our world a lot. I belong to lots of environmental organizations and read articles about threats to the viability of the planet, fears of what global warming could bring, deforestation, soil erosion, displacement of indigenous people, overpopulation, introduced species invading native ecosystems. It can get discouraging if I accept that there is another power apart from God, but I have learned firsthand to trust the statement when God says, "I am the Lord, and there is none else." I believe in one omnipotent Father-Mother God, loving and sustaining Her creation.

One night though, I was struggling, almost overwhelmed with a burdened feeling that our planet was moving in a headlong, hopeless decline as long as people continued to be so wasteful and careless of the natural environment. It seemed so many wanted to do what was convenient or cheap without regard to the future or to the environment. I was so troubled in fact, that I couldn't sleep. I knew the only way to find my peace was through prayer. So I got out of bed and began to listen for some better, higher ideas to guide me in my prayer about these problems instead of just worrying about them. Worry doesn't heal. I decided to get out my dictionary and look up words like "environment, endangered, extinct, habitat, home and atmosphere."

The first one surprised me – "Environ – to form a ring around, surround, encompass or encircle"

Immediately I thought of a hymn which begins, "Everlasting arms of Love are beneath, around, above…from earth's fears and vain alarms, safe in His encircling arms, He will keep us all the way, God our refuge, strength and stay."

This was a more spiritual, helpful and hopeful view of the environment than I had been thinking about before. That reminded me of a sentence I had memorized long ago in Sunday School. It is from Science and Health also. (Science and Health, page 269: 14) "Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of soul." I reasoned that since God is Mind with a capital "M", and Mind's creation is all ideas, then we and all God's other ideas, the plants, the animals, water, and air are really spiritual ideas. You, me and all of creation are spiritual.

Over five generations my family has had hundreds of healings by turning whole-heartedly to God. Some healings were instantaneous. Some took longer. Some I'm still praying about. Some were childhood diseases, some claimed to be incurable, some were broken bones, some healings of lost articles, finding a new home, a new job, a tumor dissolved, deafness, blindness, blood poisoning, natural childbirth and many healings of pets from birds to horses to dogs to rabbits. As I thought about the healings I have seen of animals by understanding their relation to God, "I thought why not change things into thoughts for all the species of the world? For all the plants and animals of the world?"

This was a big idea for me!

I also looked up "endangered". We hear a lot about endangered species of plants and animals. That is the belief that life might not be sustainable, that these organisms may perish, may go extinct. The dictionary said it meant, "to bring to danger or peril." But that definition reminded me of just the opposite when Noah took all the animals that were in danger of being flooded into the ark where it was safe. Mary Baker Eddy's book Science and Health has a second part called the Key to the Scriptures which includes some very helpful explanations of biblical terms and passages. In her glossary she defines ARK as "Safety: Science showing that the spiritual realities of all things are created by Him and exist forever." Those words "exist forever" are the opposite of the awful word "extinct". So I looked extinct up in the dictionary too. It means "No longer living or active, quenched, destroyed, annihilated". Mary Baker Eddy never uses the word extinct. But she did write, "Mind and its formations can never be annihilated." This is an absolute statement which I held to as the truth of my being and all being.


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