Being at Peace In God's Goodness
IN this age of global communications and commerce, we have instant access to a great number of things. Yet humanity so yearns for the one thing that can sometimes appear far out of reach: genuine peace of mind. It cannot be bought; it doesn't depend on circumstances. It flows, rather, from the heartfelt understanding of God, the source of all true blessedness.
The incessant advertising directed toward today's consumers is dizzying. Yet it is only one example of how we are led to believe that we as individuals are in need of something ``out there'' to fill us up and make us happy. We may find ourselves believing that good can be precarious, that we can be separated from it or don't have enough of it. But the good we're looking for doesn't come from something outside us. And if we look for it there, we tend to find ourselves accumulating material things at the expense of the inner peace we so desire.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, gives us a startling new view of the nature of goodness. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she describes good this way: ``Good. God; Spirit; omnipotence; omniscience; omnipresence; omni-action'' (p. 587). Goodness, then, is not something that can be won or lost. It is a quality that pervades the very nature of spiritual reality. Man and the universe are God's spiritual creation and reflect His goodness. Good is divine law, the natural order of spiritual existence. There is no other cause, no other effect, no other presence, quality, or condition but good. We needn't be misled by the world's concept of good as something material that is limited and not equally accessible to everyone. We can, rather, understand man to be the very expression of God, good, for man reflects God's nature. As the Bible assures us in Genesis, ``And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good'' (1:31).
As we begin to perceive ourselves in the light of our spiritual relation to God, we are able to express more fully those qualities that constitute a spirit of godliness. This is how we avail ourselves of good. Joy, purity, goodness, love--these qualities are the richness of Christ and they constitute genuine blessedness. This spirit of Christ is true substance, true individuality. Christ Jesus taught us how to turn away from material sense in prayer, how to abandon the illusion that we are inadequate, material beings who are confined by physical conditions. This illusion can't persist in the face of God's absolute allness. Prayer roots us in God's great goodness, where our point of reference ceases to be a geographical location or human condition, and becomes the presence of infinite Love, of God Himself. Here we begin to feel the genuine peace and contentment of understanding our inherent spiritual perfection.
Understanding ourselves better as God's perfect children, the very offspring of Life, of good, we are allowing Christ to predominate in our lives. Doing things in God's way, we express God through all that we do. Serenity and spiritual poise come as we entrust the scope of our lives to Him. Being grateful for every evidence of God's grace, accomplishing our daily tasks in a spirit of love, expressing the simplicity and beauty of Christliness in our thought and conversation--these allow God's law of goodness and harmony to be individualized in our life, and they bring with them healing, regeneration, right activity, and provision. Life's blessings, and the peace of mind that accompanies them, are not found at the end of the road, but are made evident in our day-to-day, moment-by-moment expression of goodness and love. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, ``Spiritual living and blessedness are the only evidences, by which we can recognize true existence and feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love'' (p. 264).
Let's accept the good that is ours today. We don't have to wait to experience the blessings of divine goodness and find that peace of mind which cannot be taken from us.