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Release from stress

''Keep cool.'' This may be easier said than done when things get hectic.

People are constantly searching for ways to calm down, from rubbing a ''lucky'' object to taking a drink or a smoke or a drug. Do these provide lasting composure? Evidently not. Moreover they frequently result in loss of control. So the search goes on.

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But there is a way to attain and maintain calm in the face of the pressures of twentieth-century living or when confronted with calamities or illness. We can begin to see this way through Christian Science, which was discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy.

What causes us to lose serenity? Isn't it the feeling that things are out of control? That we can't cope? Fear is often the culprit. Fear and franticness give way to a calm assurance that the one infinite God, good, is present and eternally in control. The Bible tells us of God's presence, power, and supreme intelligence. In reality, nothing unlike Him can be present or have power or intelligence. God, divine Mind, fills all space. So there is no vacuum, no place where He is not present. Nor is there actually anything going on outside His wise and loving control.

This is a fact about God's universe, although the physical senses constantly offer opposite (and false) evidence.

Christ Jesus predicted that tumultuous events would occur as materiality challenged spiritual realities. But at the same time he counseled, ''See that ye be not troubled.'' n1

n1 Matthew 24:6.

Jesus was certain of man's unity with the Father, God. This concept is basic to Christian Science, which shows us how to recognize and bring to light spiritual facts instead of being misled by mistaken material beliefs, such as the misconception that man is a vulnerable mortal, separate from God and subject to stress.

Spiritual facts are capable of demonstration. Through healing sickness and sin and expressing dominion even in the most stressful situations, the Master proved the spiritual facts he taught. He remained unperturbed in a storm at sea and in the midst of a riotous crowd intent on his destruction. Fetishes and pills would have been useless in those circumstances. But through absolute reliance on God's wisdom and power Jesus remained serene and brought about his own and his companions' deliverance.

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We can cultivate this same confidence in a supreme Father, an ever-present Principle, always in control. I've done so many times when air travel was threatened by strikes, weather, or mechanical difficulties.

One time plans for a trip to a country nine thousand miles away were jeopardized when an air traffic controllers' strike broke out at our destination. Hundreds of flights were canceled, and night after night the evening news telecasts showed thousands of marooned travelers sleeping in the airline terminals. I became upset, and fearful that our long-anticipated trip would be wiped out, and soon I was gripped with agonizing stomach cramps.

Looking for an antidote to the belief that my joy and activity were controlled by someone else, I turned to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Christian Science textbook. There I found this statement by Mrs. Eddy: ''The real jurisdiction of the world is in Mind, controlling every effect and recognizing all causation as vested in divine Mind.'' n2

n2 Science and Health, P. 379.

A feeling of peace flooded me. The pains disappeared. A day or two later, with the strike still on, we took off on time, flew ''over the pole,'' and actually arrived an hour early to begin a happy vacation.

Mrs. Eddy also writes, ''Undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses, Science, still enthroned, is unfolding to mortals the immutable , harmonious, divine Principle, - is unfolding Life and the universe, ever present and eternal.'' n3

n3 Ibid., P. 306.

The clamor and frenzy of material things may seem very impressive, but we don't have to panic. Peace of mind is an expected outcome of the ever-present and uninterrupted peace of Mind, God, which each of us, as His offspring, reflects. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The kingdom of god is... righteousness, and peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14:17

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