“… when we realize that immortal Mind is ever active, and that spiritual energies can neither wear out nor can so-called material law trespass upon God-given powers and resources, we are able to rest in Truth, refreshed by the assurances of immortality, opposed to mortality.”
— Mary Baker Eddy
I’ve been concerned about the environment since I was a little kid, reading Ranger Rick magazine and poring over National Wildlife Federation brochures about how to create a backyard wildlife habitat.
I boycotted styrofoam and aerosol hairspray in the early ’90s as part of the much-discussed (and ultimately successful) effort to help fix the hole in the ozone layer. I’ve always driven cars that got the best gas mileage I could afford. And I spent most of high school and college (and a good many years beyond!) drawing plans for houses with trombe walls and heavy insulation and all sorts of alternative architecture designed for maximum energy efficiency.
Through it all, I daydreamed of having a home powered by the sun.
Five minutes ago, I stood in my backyard and watched my electric meter spin backwards as the solar panels on my roof collected free energy from the sky and fed it into the grid.
Until this moment, I never realized exactly why it was that the idea of solar energy so thoroughly appealed to me. Of course I want to do right by the environment. Of course I want to reduce my dependence on fossil fuels. Of course I want to shrink my environmental footprint. Of course I want to slow down global warming. But my affinity for alternative energy runs much deeper than that.
Last night, I had a really great run at the gym. I ran six miles — twice as many as I’d planned to run yesterday — and it felt good. I didn’t get tired. I didn’t need to stop to walk every few minutes, as I often do when I run, and I didn’t feel unduly hot or tired, the way I sometimes do. I just ran and ran and ran.
It occurred to me that there was no reason I should feel tired, because everything I needed to run — my energy, my strength, my coordination, my speed — was coming from God. In other words, there was no reason I should ever find myself unable to express the “unlabored motion of the divine energy.”
I thought of that today as I was watching the meter run backwards and listening to Ron read numbers off the display on our new inverter. It came to me that the way the sun powers my house — naturally, effortlessly, and cleanly — is exactly the way divine Love, God, powers me.
The sun doesn’t have to flip a switch or dig minerals out of the ground or spew noxious chemicals into the air to power my house. All it has to do is what it’s already doing, what it always has done, and what it always will do. All it has to do is be, and in being, it naturally radiates warmth and light and energy. Talk about “unlabored” — the sun just is, and all this useful energy is a natural byproduct of its innate radiance. If we choose to take advantage of that radiance, we can cool our homes and power our appliances and our tools and our computers with it. It’s only when we turn to other, less natural power sources that things start to get messy.
Similarly, God doesn’t have to flip a switch or dig minerals out of the ground or spew noxious chemicals into the air to keep me safe, healthy, and happy. God — divine Life, Truth, Love, Principle, Mind, Soul, and Spirit — just is, and in being, He radiates all the spiritual warmth and light and energy we need to live joyful, productive lives. It’s only when we turn away from Principle and its “divine energy” and start looking to matter to meet our needs that things get messy.
P.S.: If you’re interested in the technological details of our new solar power system, take a peek at Ron’s new Lifted Lorax blog. He’s posting some information on there, including a video of our power meter running backwards, which ought to bring a smile to anyone who’s ever grumbled about high electric bills. 🙂