Clear thinking in chaotic times

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

This is turning out to be a year when there is as much demand on everyone for calm, clear thinking as there is for dry land. To stay above the chaos and make the right choices at the right time is an admirable accomplishment. In some cases, it's just plain heroic.

Take the plight of Moses and the Israelites at the Red Sea, for example. Imagine the decisionmaking that needed to happen at that event! There you are with a community of people who trust your resourcefulness and your courage to lead them to a freer life, when you discover that all of you are trapped and in grave danger. The Pharaoh wants his slaves back, and his troops are bearing down. You can't go forward, and that plays right into his hands. It appears his victory is imminent. As his army approaches, panic sets in among the people.

Suddenly you're faced with mind- boggling questions: Did you make a horrible miscalculation in this quest for the Promised Land, and now are to blame for the move? Should you give up? How do you handle the uprising of the very people you are trying to free? What can possibly save you and the others from potential disaster?

Remember, Moses wasn't bursting with self-confidence when he undertook this assignment. He didn't think he was an eloquent man, much less a leader.

But he was meek. At every turn he humbly and patiently leaned on God for help.

When the crucial moment of decision came and decisive action was imperative, Moses, with God's help, rose to the occasion. He knew precisely what to say and do. He assured the people: "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you to-day." Moses must have learned that less fear and more stillness would make it easier to see God's saving hand at work and to discern what action needed to be taken in order to be safe. And not just sometime down the road, but today.

Not bad leadership from someone who initially had so little confidence in himself. If Moses wasn't the source of such urgently needed and inspired eloquence and authority, as his initial self- assessment suggested was the case, then those qualities must have originated in the God he humbly turned to and trusted. It was the divine Mind and the expression of its qualities and ideas that met the needs of that hour.

And it's this same Mind that meets the needs of today.

When we try to imagine how those needs will be met, it's easy to go from an all-over-the-map speculation to a growing concern about the outcome to doubt about our ability to make it. That's not surprising if all we have to go on is a human perspective of things, forgetting that our ways and means are not necessarily God's infinite ways and means. Who would have dreamed that the sea would part?

Meekness, on the other hand, brushes aside personal opinion, personal will, and narrow expectations, so we can begin to see what God is showing us of His guidance and love, and let that lead the way, with no personal strings attached. "Be sure that God directs your way," counseled Mary Baker Eddy in "Miscellaneous Writings," "then, hasten to follow under every circumstance."

How the world needs meekness, especially when events seem overwhelming. We need meekness in order to grasp what God has created and what He is expressing, and to discern His direction. Then we see that we're not bound by the illusion that we're helpless. We're not at a loss for answers. We're living in God's universe, as His likeness, ready to learn something new about how He is caring for us right now.

Blessed are the meek:
for they shall inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5

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