The old adage “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is well-known, but how many ask why? Why should good intentions produce anything but good results? And notice, it’s a road, not a little pathway. And it’s paved, not dirt or gravel. This is a serious warning.
Good intentions. “I want the best for my child.” “I want to make the world a better place.” Intentions like these seem pretty good - unless they are accompanied by “I know what is best for my child” and “I know how to make the world a better place.” This is where the black-top, the Macadam is laid for the road to hell. When we think we know everything about a situation, we should remember that we know less than 1 percent of all there is to know, so myopic is our view.
I will never forget the prognosis of the experts after the hurricane Katrina caused such devastation. “Get used to it. Violent storms like this will be happening more and more due to Global Warming.” There followed over a decade of the quietest hurricane seasons on record, I believe - no hurricanes!! How could the experts, who know so much about climate, the massive banks of data, the highly intelligent models, be so wrong? Not just a little wrong, but utterly, completely wrong, not even close! Because despite all their knowledge and expertise, they still only know a fraction of what there is to know. (This is where I came up with the less than 1%!) “The more you know, the less you know.” is another common adage, that many scientists and thinkers understand. The one’s who have not discovered this through their own experience are the one’s we have to watch out for!
Now let's consider the plants, the insects, the animals, birds, etc. There are those who argue that plants are conscious, because they “know” how to adapt, to respond to stimuli, etc. The Monarch butterfly exhibits enormous intelligence - it has been estimated that it would take super-computer power and capacity to simulate what the Monarch butterfly seems to know and process in order to migrate thousands of mile to its “designated home” in Mexico. Just today I came across a couple of articles, "Honey bees grasp the concept of zero," and "Raven hacked researcher's experiment." Surely we can agree that the intelligence in these cases is not confined to the individual insect or plant or bird. Is it such a stretch then, to suggest that the intelligence of man resides outside of himself, and that this would explain why, even after knowing so much, he still knows so little?
So getting back to our subject, how might all this help with out good intentions. The following from Science and Health captures it succinctly:
“Controlled by the divine intelligence, man is harmonious… Whatever is governed by a false belief is discordant… “
For our purposes, divine intelligence is that which is outside of ourselves, beyond our personal knowledge, and false belief is that which assumes we know everything.
Finally, a warning from the same textbook:
“We must not attribute more and more intelligence to matter, but less and less, if we would be wise and healthy. The divine Mind, which forms the bud and blossom, will care for the human body, even as it clothes the lily; but let no mortal interfere with God's government by thrusting in the laws of erring, human concepts.”
Again, for our purposes, matter refers to our personal knowledge - so we must not attribute more and more intelligence to our personal knowledge, but less and less, if we would be wise and healthy. And we had better not interfere with God’s government and our good intentions by trying to orchestrate just how things should work out according to our own personal knowledge - referred to as mammon in the following excerpt from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon…
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
This is the way, where good intentions pave the road, not to hell, but to heaven!