For many who live in this posteconomic-calm world with all its personal, family, and work demands, all its uncertainties, the notion of living a stress-free life might sound like a fantasy. Dream on, you may say.
But what if it's the hyper-stressed world itself that's the dream? What if in the middle of all the demands there's a living reality called Peace – a God-created calm and unbroken harmony? Nobody has to make it happen, carve it out, or vacation in it; this state of peace simply is, and is all there is. It is, in fact, what God creates life to be – a spiritual life that Christian Science reveals and makes reachable.
Pause to consider that possibility, and what discovering this holy calm and living in it would mean for your life and the lives of those you love. What it would mean for your health. What it might do to calm the world's social, political, and economic waters.
Getting to calm starts with getting to know God, with discovering who we are as God's spiritual creation, and learning how we all relate to one another. The Bible records humanity's search along these lines and shows how more inspired ideas of Creator and creation progressively resulted in greater calm, wholeness, and health.
When the Bible is viewed through the lens of inspiration, God is seen to be wholly good, and never the creator of evil; as Life and never the author of conflict and death; as the Lawgiver or divine Principle, but never a condemning judge; and certainly as Love, the fathering and mothering Love that calms and heals, that can change storm to stillness in an instant.
When Jesus turned in prayer to his Father, to the universal Father, and stopped a windstorm with the words, "Peace, be still" (Mark 4:39), he proved Spirit's power to be superior to material forces. Jesus also proved a deeper truth in that moment: that God's calm always is here, doesn't change, and can be felt and enjoyed by those who understand the divine laws that govern life. As Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her primary work, "Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 2).
Jesus never said that because of what he accomplished, we'd be free from life's challenges. But his example, explained through the Science of the Christ, enables anyone who seeks it to find and more consistently live in God's undisturbed state of being – whatever the days may bring. And the same divine law that can still a storm can calm the stress that wreaks so much havoc.
A medical information website (webmd.com) states that in the US "75 to 90 percent of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints." That's a lot of stress. And a lot of drugs prescribed, as well as advice about rest, exercise, and diet.
With economies in turmoil, families feeling pressed to obtain credit or make loan payments, and workers concerned about layoffs, the stress meter may seem headed only upward. The public health concerns everyone who is committed to relieving human suffering. But do chemicals and other methods actually get at the root of the trouble? Or, is health actually an element of God's being, that underlying "harmony of being" which prayer enables one to see and experience?
Jesus got to the root of illness and to the core of stress itself, with his message "Be not afraid." That's what he said to the men caught in a boat in that windstorm, to a father whose daughter was dying, and to people trapped in fear for all kinds of reasons. When fear was stopped, God's preexistent health and harmony became visible.
Stress is little more than fear accepted as legitimate and substantial. And fear gives ground when thought awakens to God's all-space-filling presence and power. In such moments, we begin to get answers to those other key issues: What has God made me to be and do? How do I relate to others as co-equal spiritual beings?
We begin to learn that God didn't create us to carry burdens and suffer. He made us to mirror, to embody, to enjoy, the harmony of the Supreme Being.
Adapted from the Christian Science Sentinel.