LOOKING for a little bedrock right now? For something solid, to underlie your life's purpose and direction? We all look for standards, absolutes, that will hold still for us, forever. We've all had plenty of experience with the other kind: the concept one embraced with such fervor at fifteen that somehow was no longer true at twenty, for example.
The ebb and flow of human opinions can lead us to the conclusion that there are no standards we can rely on with all our heart. At such a point, there's tremendous comfort in the recognition that there are solid principles that never abandon us. These are found in spiritual consciousness, especially in those principles brought to us with such immediacy in the life and words of Christ Jesus. The Christ remains as solid today as it was in Bible times when Jesus commended the disciple Simon Peter's recognit ion of the Christ. Matthew's Gospel records that Jesus said of the principles, the rock-ribbed and eternal verities Peter's insight acknowledged: "Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
What are some of the elements of this truth Jesus taught that apply practically for each of us today? Isn't his a life that is an inspiration of honesty, of truth and love expressed? A life that inspires us to lift our own standard of spiritual living?
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, helps us see how to live such Christian standards in the marketplace of everyday experience. In one passage from her Miscellaneous Writings, Mrs. Eddy sets forth simple truths that provide practical guideposts on the highway of our lives. She writes: "A little more grace, a motive made pure, a few truths tenderly told, a heart softened, a character subdued, a life consecrated, would restore the right action of the mental mechanism, and mak e manifest the movement of body and soul in accord with God. These spiritually based qualities are bedrock principles that never desert us.
I remember one bedrock principle that came to my rescue in Army basic training. I couldn't pass the minimum target practice tests with my rifle. A friend in my platoon told me he had the key to the shed where the targets were stored. It would be easy to cheat and get this thing behind us. I thought long and hard about it. I was surprised it wasn't easy to say no, or to say yes.
But finally I made my decision. I was not going to cheat. It violated my self-respect, my principles. I read from the Bible and from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mrs. Eddy, the night before the test. All I read assured me that I couldn't be harmed by adherence to good. While I was awaiting my turn at the rifle range, my thought was filled with God's presence and His unerring love for me. I later found out that my friend had been caught and had to repeat his entire basic training. I wa s told I had placed seventh in my platoon. No one was more surprised than I was--including my sergeant!
When life seems so ever-changing to us, we can always turn to God--to the unerring, unchanging, fixed principles of Life spiritually discerned, of Truth that never lets us down, of Love that shines like a lamp in seeming darkness. As we learn to adhere to these spiritual "bedrock standards, we find ourselves experiencing more fully the promise Mrs. Eddy speaks of in her poem "Christ My Refuge:
Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock,
Upon Life's shore,
'Gainst which the winds and waves can shock,