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Spiritual Poise-You Can Express It

Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.

Watching two bald eagles soaring high in the air, I found it hard to believe that their wingspans can reach over seven feet. When you see them flying above you, they don't look that big. But the poise, strength, and alertness that these birds exemplified made them a pleasure for me to watch.

Seeing such qualities expressed reminded me of Jesus Christ. Studying the Bible shows us that he expressed them every day. There is a story in the Bible illustrating this point. Jesus was preaching, and the people who heard him became angry at the truth he spoke. Luke says, "And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong." How did Jesus react? All the Bible says is this: "But he passing through the midst of them went his way" (Luke 4:28-30).

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This was indicative of spiritual poise. It was a quality given of God. And because we are God's children, made in His image and likeness-as Jesus brought out in his life and works-poise is something we can each express. This poise is different from just making yourself remain quiet. It requires quietude, but moreover it comes from listening to and obeying God. That means having the humility to admit that God is the power in control of you, and having the understanding that God's control is good, just as God is good.

So what if you are in the middle of a conflict-perhaps a disagreement with someone? What if your children are disobedient or you're downright angry at another person? What can you do? Pray. Pray for the ability to yield to what is loving. This enables you to respond with love, rather than react with hate. It is right for there to be harmony between individuals, but this harmony is trustworthy only when we acknowledge that God is behind it.

A book by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, explains the details of how to respond in prayer when there is discord. One of the statements in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that says something about maintaining calm in the face of trouble is this: "Human sense may well marvel at discord, while, to a diviner sense, harmony is the real and discord the unreal. We may well be astonished at sin, sickness, and death. We may well be perplexed at human fear; and still more astounded at hatred, which lifts its hydra head, showing its horns in the many inventions of evil. But why should we stand aghast at nothingness?" (p. 563) Prayer is what brings that sense of divine harmony. Nothing short of this can be counted on to heal.

Wherever you may be, you can rely on an understanding of God to heal. My family saw this while on vacation. On the first morning, our daughter could not get up because of severe back pain. I called a Christian Science practitioner to pray for her. A practitioner gives his or her full time to practicing spiritual healing, the kind of healing Jesus practiced. When I spoke to the practitioner, I mentioned there had been some tension in our family. He said to pray and consider the nature of spiritual poise. (I have never forgotten those two words, even though this occurred several years ago.)

My husband and son went off for the day, and I stayed to pray with our daughter. In thinking about what the practitioner had said, I prayed for the clear realization that spiritual poise was attainable in listening to and obeying God; in expressing Him through love and humility; in yielding to His power. By lunchtime our daughter could get up and go with me to eat. By the next day she was able to participate in our activities all morning, and on the third day she was fully active. We had a good vacation. Prayer had both ended the disagreements and healed our daughter.

Responding with love, rather than reacting to conflict, is prayer in action. As we understand how God cares for us-is in control-this understanding shows itself in greater poise.

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