Of all the rooms in our house, my very favorite one is small. It has a comfy leather chair, a table next to it piled high with books, and a big window that looks out onto the sea. When I open the door to this room, I immediately feel at peace. No matter what may be going on in my day, I seem to be able to leave it all at the door.
One day I'm going to make a little plaque for the wall that reads "Quiet Zone: only good thoughts here."
Everyone can find his or her own sanctuary of peace - even when daily life gets rough. We all have a quiet corner to go to. But we really don't need a physical room with a comfy chair.
There is a statement made by Jesus about going into our "closet." What he was speaking of doesn't have a doorknob. It is actually our consciousness - the place where we do our thinking and reasoning. "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly," Jesus said (Matt. 6:6).
If you find yourself in a situation where there's confusion or where emotions are running high, you can still find peace right in the middle of the cacophony by praying. Entering a mental closet, being quiet, and shutting out negative thoughts prepares us to commune with God.
The founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, said it this way in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God's allness" (pg. 15). God is All and is good - omnipotent and omnipresent. Remembering this leads to a further realization that evil, being the opposite of God, is powerless and ultimately not to be found. This realization takes away fear and calms the thought so we can listen for God's guidance.
"Be still, and know that I am God," says a psalm (Ps. 46:10). Reflecting on God's totality, we can be still and keep our poise while driving on the freeway in bumper-to-bumper traffic, standing before a classroom of boisterous seven-year-olds, or waiting for someone who is two hours late for an appointment.
Another passage from the Bible that has helped me numerous times is from Isaiah (30:15). It promises, "In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength."
Prayer finds many applications in daily life, and helps us help others. For example, one day at the park, I noticed a woman suddenly lose her balance and fall. By the time I reached her, several folks had already come to her rescue. Some were speculating as to breaks or bruises. Others talked about accidents they had had.
Wishing to give the woman some encouragement, I turned to God in my own consciousness, remembering Him to be the source of good. I asked God to show me what to think and say. Before I knew it, I was assuring the woman that she did not have to assume the worst for herself or expect disaster. I even suggested that she try to stand up, and told her that I would help her. She got up slowly and brushed herself off. Back at the park with her dog the next day, she was her usual chatty self.
Any place can be a quiet zone for prayer. "This kingdom of God 'is within you,' - is within reach of man's consciousness here, and the spiritual idea reveals it. In divine Science, man possesses this recognition of harmony consciously in proportion to his understanding of God" (Science and Health, pg. 576). Each day (and throughout the day) we can take quiet time to contemplate God as being good and being All - no matter what the situation. The place we're in doesn't really matter, because our sanctuary, the mental closet of prayer, is always within us.
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