How Do You Manage?
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Do you ever feel that too many responsibilities are swamping you? Recently, I was feeling that way. Working often until one or two in the morning, I would wake up tired and unhappy at the beginning of another day's stormy passage.
Then an opportunity arose to escape to an island accessible only by private boat. With no interruptions, I could rest and recapture my sense of joy.
But a few weeks after arriving, I was exhausted. I was doing maintenance in return for using the house, keeping up with normal chores, catching up on work. I was often busy until after midnight and waking up early, dreading getting out of bed to start another day.
Sound familiar? I realized that all that had changed was my location. And then I had to laugh, for I was alone and had no one but myself to blame for the way things were going. This brought the clearer recognition that we're not overwhelmed by circumstances but rather by our own perceptions of them.
By finding that dominion over the events of our lives is our natural right as God's children, we can replace chaos with productivity and keep our lives in control. When we open our thoughts to God, the source of true peace, we find calm coming into our lives. The Bible says that from the beginning God created us in His image, spiritual, to have dominion over all (see Gen. 1:26).
Someone who brought this fact out as practical for you and me was Christ Jesus. He recognized it, claimed it as true, and spoke it to the fearful mind and the troubled heart in ways that healed. He even spoke to the turmoil of wind and wave, saying, "Peace, be still." The result? "And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm" (Mark 4:39). His spiritual understanding brought the peace and harmony of God's power to human lives.
I saw that whether at home or on a remote island, I needed to repent - that is, to rethink who was really in charge; to calm the seas of my own thought before considering what was required in my physical surroundings. I needed to do what the disciples of Jesus did: turn to his example for guidance.
So I began making the conscious effort to take plenty of time to pray each morning, having learned that this improves our lives. Recognizing God's government of His creation as orderly and as producing harmony, we find His power active in our daily lives.
The Christian Science textbook says, " 'Let there be light,' is the perpetual demand of Truth and Love [God], changing chaos into order and discord into the music of the spheres" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 255). From the movement of galaxies and solar systems to the details of our days, orderly movement symbolizes God's power. It is a natural result of recognizing and understanding God and our unbreakable relation to Him.
Of course, it isn't enough to simply take time in the morning to pray, to be calm by the clock, and then to jump up and dash around without thinking about our God-given dominion again until the same time the next morning. We must remember our divine right to a "calm passage" every time the thought pops up that we don't have enough time, or energy, or support from others, to do what needs doing. And people are proving for themselves that as they respond to their problems in this way, regularly, it becomes an immediate response; a laying claim to dominion and to the ability to be calm and confident. No matter what our location or circumstance might be, we can find ourselves in the peaceful sea of God's love.
This is spiritual perception. It provides the clear thought necessary to find more stamina, be more productive, well organized, and skillful. To see how to do the work at hand most efficiently. I've found that when we are in this state of mind, our work proceeds smoothly, is done correctly, and is often done in record time!
You can read in Science and Health that "the calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace" (Pg. 506). This book also explains that when our own thought is at peace, our perceptions are enhanced so that we can recognize and appreciate the abilities of others. And when appropriate speak to them those comforting words "Peace, be still."