Coping in a complicated world
Everyday life seems to be getting more and more complicated. From simple snow shovels we now have moved to complex, self-starting snow throwers. Instead of paying "cash on the barrel," we have credit plans with intricate monthly statements and revolving charges. Income tax forms can befuddle even longtime taxpayers -- to say nothing of some tax lawyers! Ever-changing life styles may cause more difficult and involved relationships with others.
Such complexities are affecting not only individuals but also governments. A recent series in this newspaper on international spying reported that one problem for some intelligence agencies is how to digest the huge increase in data avalanching on them from new technological sources such as spy satellites.
How can we solve our problems before they overwhelm us? How can we keep dignity and dominion in our lives when we seem so swamped by apparently uncontrollable and often impersonal complications?
There is a way for all of us. It is to turn to God and accept the Christly fact that He is All and man is His beloved child. The Bible tells us of people through the centuries who have done this successfully, and shows us how we can do it today.
To turn to God means to pray. But the deepest prayer is something beyond words. it is that fervent, silent desire to express God. It flows out of heartfelt humility that finds expression in feelings such as, "Dear Father, I can't manage this problem. I need You very much." Christ Jesus had this meek yielding and reaching. He mastered life's most urgent problems and said, "i can of mine own self do nothing." n1
n1 John 5:30;
Much of the pressure in our lives seems to come from the belief that we don't have enough experience, intelligence, or money to solve our problems. And as mortals, that may be true.
but when we turn to God in humble prayer, we are turning away from the thought that we are limited mortals. We are reaching out to God to see that we are really limitless, immortal ideas of His creating. The difficulty of trying to cope in a complex world is not really the issue, though it surely does seem to be. The fundamental problem is the insidious belief that we are limited mortals. The truth that God is infinite good, and man is now His beloved child, comes to us in humble prayer to break the beliefs of limitation and enable us to discern and experience more of man's inherent freedom.
Though total freedom from some seemingly overwhelming problem may happen only a bit at a time, from our very first glimpse o the spiritual truth of man's unity with God we feel heartened that the whole thing will surely be solved. Mary Baker Eddy n2 writes, "Step by step will those who trust Him find that 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.'" n3
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n3 Science and health with Key to the Scriptures,m P. 444.
Many people seem to feel that they can get along without God's help. Maybe they do not have pressing problems, or they think they have been able to meet them through their own resources. But the deeper purpose of life is not simply to succeed materially or socially. It is to show God's greatness and goodness, as expressed in man, in all that we do. Only God, Truth, through His tender Christ, can enable us to do that. We all need Him always. If a financial or social success tends to harden the belief that life is material, we are not truly coping with life. But when, through thick and thin, we daily work to glimpse and express even a tiny bit more of God's infinite grace and goodness, we are coping and living successfully. DAILY BIBLE VERSE We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. II Corinthians 4:8-10