LIVING in today's world can be challenging at times, the demands overwhelming. How can we deal with these demands?
I was on an extensive business trip. After speaking almost every night for several weeks I came to a point in my itinerary where I was required to talk one afternoon, have a meeting that night, drive several hundred miles and make a presentation the following day with very little rest. I loved my work, but the long haul of meeting deadlines seemed to be catching up with me. Things looked impossible! The more I thought about the demands from a map, motel, and timetable standpoint, the more frustrated
In this extremity I turned to my Bible for help and found this comforting verse from Micah: ``He [God] hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?'' 1
Thinking about the spiritual meaning of this verse, I reasoned along these lines: God is perpetually showing me ``what is good.'' God is Truth itself, the infinite source of truth, integrity, justice. The work I was doing really involved the presentation of facts, of truth, to my audiences. So I was doing justly and thereby acting under the protection of God. My deep desire to be at the distant city the next day and make my presentation was evidence of a love for all those concerned. Expressing thi s love, I knew I was completely embraced by divine Love and could perform my task without harm to myself. Expressing the love of God, seeing it as an ever-present resource, could never lead to exhaustion or incapacity. The love of God benefits all. Humbly acknowledging this fact, I would see each step of the trip fall into place.
Continuing along this line, I began to see that what was really required of me was to spiritualize and uplift my outlook on what was being asked of me. I had to substitute God's demands for the pressures and frustrations that seemed to be doggedly attaching themselves to me.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes, ``The spiritual demand, quelling the material, supplies energy and endurance surpassing all other aids, and forestalls the penalty which our beliefs would attach to our best deeds.'' 2
I reasoned that the spiritual demand of God is that I be what He made me to be -- His image, or expression. To express God is to live in accordance with divine laws, laws that quell and destroy negative, destructive claims of fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, accident.
Realizing these truths brought great peace. Step by step I completed each assignment, knowing that in doing so I was experiencing the spiritual demands of God, quelling the pressures and frustration of a material outlook on life. Everything I had to do got done. And the lessons I learned continue to be helpful.
Now when facing the tasks of each day I take time to ask, ``How am I viewing these demands? From the standpoint of a mortal, material being with limited time, abilities, talents? Or am I seeing that the only demand being placed on me is to glorify God as His unlimited spiritual image; to express and utilize the potent resources for good that He has given to me and to all mankind?''
The master Christian, Christ Jesus, spoke of his yoke as easy and his burden as light.3 Yet his life on earth was anything but a primrose path.
What was it that made Jesus equal to the challenges he faced? A conscious sense of unity with his Maker, and a spiritual understanding of life.
To Jesus, healing the sick through totally spiritual means was not a chore but an experiencing of God's justice and mercy. In a sense, we might say that the spiritual demands placed on the Master wiped out the material beliefs of annihilation and failure, leading Jesus triumphantly on to glorious resurrection and ascension. What an example for us!
Adopting a more spiritual outlook on demands, we too can better cope with and profit by the tasks of each day. 1 Micah 6:8. 2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 385. 3 See Matthew 11:30.