Spiritual Calm, Not Complacency

SEVERAL major stories made the headlines recently within the course of just a few days. There was the dramatic failed coup in the Soviet Union, a hurricane battering its way up the East Coast of the United States, and a major financial scandal on Wall Street.Events like these can certainly jolt us out of any tendency to be complacent in today's world. A feeling of calm is desirable and normal--but only if it's built on a solid foundation. Calm springing from ignorance of the deeper challenges facing humanity has a shaky foundation. So, too, does the inclination to feel at peace simply because things are outwardly quiet. The real need is for calm based on a growing perception of the one God, universal good, and His government of man. Along with this is t he importance of building our lives on an enduring, spiritual basis. The blindness of materialism would have us judge everything in relation to the moment's appearances. And it would suggest that there's no connection whatsoever between people's state of thought and the course of events, either individually or in the worldwide arena. In other words, it would have us think that dishonesty, promiscuity, hatred, addiction, and so forth are normal human weaknesses, to be condemned when they cause obvious harm but otherwise to be expected and tolerated. A great need of humanity is to be alert to counter this argument with the recognition that spirituality alone can move us forward. Christ Jesus shows us what it means to build our lives on a spiritual basis. In his Sermon on the Mount, for instance, he points to the importance of meekness, purity, hungering for righteousness. And he says, "Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. A more widespread, consistent following of Jesus' teachings, then, is at the very heart of stability and progress in our lives and in the world. In this way we can come into harmony with divine law, with the power of God that underlies lasting harmony. And we get beyond the false peace of complacency to the genuine calm we all desire. Peace will be founded on a genuine, lasting basis. This is natural--and inevitable. It's inevitable because man isn't, in truth, the sinful mortal he appears to be; he's God's spiritual image, as we learn from the Bible. Our true selfhood, then, is Godlike, and because it is Godlike it's natural to express the purity and goodness of the divine nature and to worship the one God. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "The great truth in the Science of being, that the re al man was, is, and ever shall be perfect, is incontrovertible; for if man is the image, reflection, of God, he is neither inverted nor subverted, but upright and Godlike. To the degree that we strive through prayer to recognize this truth of man and live the Christliness that characterizes our true selfhood, we'll feel the God-derived calm that can't be shaken. And as nations move farther in this direction, their prosperity will be assured, their well-being established on a more solid foundation. We can't afford to be complacent. But as human lives embody more of that spirituality which Jesus illustrated, superficial calm will give place to enduring peace.

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