Out of the fast lane
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
A friend of mine used to say to me, "This old globe is spinning pretty fast." Today this seems more true than ever. Life speeds up; we become impatient, demanding that things be done more quickly. The result is a life on fast forward, missing quiet times, opportunities to slow down, periods to think a little - or even a lot - and be peaceful.
Maybe we can't make time stand still, but we can find peace. In God's eyes we're all within His realm, His care. His lovingkindness is surrounding us all the time - even in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. What a wonderful thing to know. But, more - what a wonderful thing to feel!
But how can we feel, really deep-down feel, God's presence - His kindness, His love? Through communing with God. Talking with Him. Asking for guidance. Thanking Him for direction. One way we can become aware of this divine presence is by spiritually looking for it - and when we find it, acknowledging it.
When our daughter was in the middle of third grade, it became apparent that the school she was enrolled in was not the right one for her academically. As reluctant as we were to uproot her mid-year, we had to transfer her to another school as soon as we could. It was a busy time in my life already, and with all that was going on otherwise, this added adventure really put me on fast forward. There didn't seem to be enough time to get it all done, and I grew impatient. We had to acquire records, hold interviews, attend meetings - all without conveying any sense of pressure or concern to our child.
We spoke to her about the upcoming change, and she seemed very apprehensive. So I prayed about this. I asked God for guidance in what to do and how to do it. I didn't want our daughter to feel her life was out of control. And, frankly, I didn't want to feel that way either. So I listened for God's direction.
I remembered something the founder of Christian Science wrote: "The poor suffering heart needs its rightful nutriment, such as peace, patience in tribulation, and a priceless sense of the dear Father's loving-kindness" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pgs. 365-366). I prayed for our family to feel that "priceless sense" of our Father's care, to understand better how God cares for each of His children. And I began to understand that His omnipotent love and presence excludes no one.
I also started thinking about how to base my decisions on God and His lovingkindness for each of His children. And soon I began to feel at peace - really deep-down peace.
Our daughter's first day at the new school came, and I dropped her off as planned. Around lunchtime I became concerned about how she was doing. At my office, I again stopped and prayed to see that everyone is included in God's supervision 100 percent of the time. He is an all-embracing God of wisdom and gentleness. I felt peace filling my thought.
Later that day, our daughter joyfully told me, "Mommy, all the girls are my friends!" She, too, had felt peace and comfort in the middle of her changing world.
Through prayer, anyone can look for and find God's grace and calmness. One way to feel it is to acknowledge the spiritual fact that it is here, no matter how fast things appear to be moving around you.
Taking the time to feel God's presence won't stop the earth from turning. But it can make us aware that it is under His good control. Prayer - listening to God - feeds the yearning to feel His arms all around. Prayer can open views and avenues that before were unseen, bringing the gentle refreshment of a spiritual dew, refreshing our thought and life.
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect
of righteousness quietness
and assurance for ever. And
my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and
in sure dwellings, and in
quiet resting places.
Isaiah 32:17, 18
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society