Taking fear out of summer heat
As a youngster growing up in the Mojave Desert of the United States, I was well acquainted with hot weather. Summer vacation was three months of temperatures that often soared above 115 degrees F. Some July nights never cooled below 95 degrees F. As I look back, it seems miraculous how little the heat curtailed our vigorous summer playing.
Of course, it's easy to explain this relative obliviousness to the heat as the result of youthful vigor. But perhaps there's another factor involved. On the whole, we did not fear the heat or dread the start of another hot day. We simply understood that heat was part of living in the desert and used our desert savvy to stay safe. Our lack of fear gave us a kind of freedom from being overwhelmed by the heat.
Dominion over hot weather can be even more assured if dealth with on a spiritually scientific basis. Through prayer, each of us cna take much of the torment out of hot weather. For what makes hot weather feel brutal is not so much the temperature as the fear the heat seems to engender.
Distress stems from the basic belief, substantiated by the senses, that man is a bodily organism -- a biomechanism dependent on chemical reactions for life. As long as the body is running smoothly, we give little attention to this universally accepted presupposition about man.
But mortality and the fear of death underlie the belief that the man is physical. In one sense, it could be said that mortal existence itself is a state of fear. Thus, when hot weather seems to challenge the body with overheating and chemical breakdown, the real enemy is the suddenly intensified latent fear, based on the universal belief (or materially mental illusion) that man is a physical organism at the mercy of matter and doomed to die.
Christian Science helps destroy this underlying existential fear and its torment by enabling us to see through the mesmeric dream of mortal life to the spiritual reality of body and Life. As Christ Jesus proved by hsi resurrection and ascension, God, not organized matter, is the Life of man. And in this restful Life is no heat, inflammation, or fear. Man, the child of God's care, has incorporeal being -- he embodies the qualities of Life, such as comfort, vitality, and peace. He is not a collection of organs and chemicals that can break donw or be disorganized by heat. The real man effortlessly reflects the activity of Life, in which there is no friction, agitation, or collapse.
Gaining this sense of Life and man's incorporeality counteracts the acute beliefs of life in matter associated with hot weather. Many Baker Eddy n1 writes, "Entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living, is the Life divine, revealing spiritual understanding and the consciousness of man's dominion over the whole earth. This understanding casts out error and heals the sick, and with it you cna speak 'as one having authority.'" n2 To the extent we understand that Life is God, "entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living," we will prove man's God-given dominion over all the earth, including hot weather.
n1 Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 14;
Overheating, heatstroke, bad temper -- all the physiological and psychological effects associated with hot weather -- yield to the refreshing presence of the Christ, the true sense of Life and its embodiment. How comforting to realize that God preserves His amn and always keeps him safe and peaceful. The prophet must have sensed this when he wrote of those under God's merficul care, "Neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall be guide them." n3
n3 Isaiah 49:10.
As we trust God and see Him as our very Life, we will find refuge from the overtaxing fears of material life in the body. God will be to us our Rock, in whose cool shade we find shelter from the fierce beliefs of heat and humidity. The temperatures may be high, but this does not have to afflict us, or take away our composure. These qualities are forever embodied in Life's expression, man, and nothing can dry them up. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Thou shalt be like a watered garden. Isaiah 58:11