From chaos to tranquillity
A morning of constant decisionmaking; old, yet-to-be-solved difficulties clamor for attention; new problems emerge. When a day seems to be going along these lines, no doubt we would be glad for a respite - for a time to silence the confusion and establish harmony. And harmony can be achieved. But it takes effort. We can't just utter a few magical words. And we can't find tranquillity by scowling, breaking down, feeling overwhelmed with frustration. These reactions won't promote calm either in ourselves or in our surroundings.
I like to remember how Christ Jesus handled a different sort of tumult. When he and his disciples found themselves in the middle of a storm at sea, he didn't react with fear; he staunchly proclaimed, ''Peace, be still.'' The Biblical account continues, ''And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.'' n1 We can establish calm in our own thought right in the midst of tumult of whatever sort.
n1 Mark 4:39.
What lay behind the words that Jesus uttered with so much authority and conviction?
The gospel records clearly show that Jesus regarded God as the author of man. For example, he said, ''Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.'' n2 And what is the man of God's creating like? Not a confused, mismanaged mortal, but spiritual man - upright, God-controlled, and Godlike. God did not separate Himself from His creation, leaving man in his own orbit, subject to chaos and changeable powers. The Master understood that God alone is power and that He controls every facet of man's being.
n2 Matthew 23:9.
If we find ourselves surrounded by chaos, noisiness, discrepancies, perhaps we should step back for a moment and ponder God's role in our day. Order and law are attributes of the Supreme Being. We can recognize that it is impossible for disorder to proceed from orderliness. Divine law, the law of God's allness and supremacy, is always in effect. The Supreme Being is infinite, all-powerful, all-good, and in perfect charge of His creation. And our realization of this truth is a powerful force for good.
Jesus spoke with authority because he trusted completely in the Father's government of man and the universe. Such an understanding of God's control would exclude any belief of another controlling influence over man. This understanding of who and what God is, and of man's relationship to Him as His very likeness, can bring about changes in our lives.
Jesus often spoke with authority or handled difficult situations with total command. But aren't we also struck by his meekness? In reading the gospel accounts we can see that his attitude and actions expressed the highest degree of humility.
It certainly takes humility to lay aside one's own plans and cherished ideas of how things should go, and instead to pray and listen humbly for the Father's direction. If we find ourselves in a state of flux, or suddenly responsible for plans gone awry, or even when we find our activities proceeding smoothly, we may need to ask ourselves: Can I admit as Jesus did, ''I can of mine own self do nothing''? n3 Putting God first and turning to Him before we act frees us from pressure. And it also frees us from merely personal influence, either our own or someone else's. Acknowledging God's wisdom leads the way to orderly solutions. And it brings us peace.
n3 John 5:30.
The first chapter of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, n4 is entitled ''Prayer.'' At the end of the chapter Mrs. Eddy discusses the Lord's Prayer and gives what she understands to be its spiritual sense. Under the verse ''Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,'' she says, ''Enable us to know, - as in heaven, so on earth, - God is omnipotent, supreme.'' n5
n4 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
n5 Science and Health, p. 17. reme.'' 5
Every facet of our day offers fresh opportunities for us to acknowledge - and prove - God's supremacy and His loving care for each of His sons and daughters. So with authority and meekness we can leave chaos behind. Tranquillity really presides. DAILY BIBLE VERSE In every thing by prayer and supplicaton with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6, 7