One of my colleagues said he's trying to slow time down. He said he wants to stop rushing. He wants to enjoy the moments of his life more, to feel their fullness. I know what he means. I'm trying to do the same thing.
It can be especially tough to do this time of year. Things just seem to speed up and snowball. End-of-year deadlines, final projects, exams, a slew of loose ends to tie up before you feel you can rest - I don't know about you, but I often find myself careening into the New Year on an emotional roller coaster.
I've decided, like my friend, that I don't want to do that anymore. So I've taken on as one of my life-projects to feel an ongoing sense of rest. Right now, every day, even with deadlines looming. The end of this year, the beginning of the next ... and beyond. I want to get things done, but I also want to feel the calm, unhurried action of grace, courage, and serenity in my life. And I'm learning that the key is to turn to God, who is the infinite source of these and all other spiritual qualities.
A statement that's helped me a lot, by the founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, says that "man ... is but the humble servant of the restful Mind, though it seems otherwise to finite sense" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pgs. 119-120).
This reminds me that a good, supreme intelligence is controlling my life. Deep down - as basic and reliable as the invisible laws of flight that keep an airplane made of tons of steel aloft - there is a sustaining divine order, or Principle. When we mentally align ourselves with this Mind/Principle, we're safe. We experience the comfort, transformation, and healing - the rest and restoration - that come as a natural result of being spiritually in tune with God's lovely plan.
These ideas helped me with a crucial career-related lecture I gave recently. I worked on it diligently for several weeks. But the day before the talk, the form and content were still fuzzy. I felt depressed, confused, and tired.
I received a saving message (in the form of an e-mail from a friend): "If God is your copilot, swap seats." I realized that I'd been thinking of myself as the author of this lecture - of God as my copilot. So I swapped seats. I silently acknowledged that God, divine Mind, was in charge. Me? I was along for the ride, eager and ready to see the terrific place where God would guide me.
I prayed along these lines: "OK, God, this is your lecture. It's your message. I'm your humble servant, ready to respond to the impulse of your love and intelligence. What do you want me to do? What is it you want my audience to see and hear? I'm listening. Thank you for your clarity, coherence, and peace - for your assurance that all is well."
Several Psalms, including this verse, comforted me: "My times are in thy hand" (Ps. 31:15). And it was beautiful. Immediately, I felt a stillness. Fear and turmoil vanished. A freak ice storm caused the lecture to be postponed at the last minute, giving me additional time to bring everything perfectly into focus. Delivering the lecture was a joy. Audience members said it was inspiring. An unexpected career opportunity resulted.
For so many people, feeling on top of things and at peace is especially difficult this year. The events of September have upended the lives of thousands. In my own everyday sphere, friends and relatives are out of work. People are still grieving. How can they feel rest when there is so much unrest in their lives?
Glib answers don't help. But God is not glib. God is a rock. He is ready and available to comfort and guide, stabilize and save, when turned to for help.
Whether you're facing demands related to work, job-seeking, school, family, income, or emotional or physical health, God is with you. You are His expression, His humble servant. And the times of your life are in Her sure hands. Rest assured.
There remaineth therefore a rest
to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest ....