At peace within

Have you ever wanted to run away from the clamor, the pressure, the confusion , of today's living? Have you ever been tempted to think total solitude would achieve this end, perhaps a sojourn on a desert island? Most people, at some point in their lives, have been tempted to believe this would be a solution. And certainly a quiet, restful vacation can be a help at times. But escapism is never the answer.

Many of us doubt the possibility of being able to go out ''into the marketplace'' and yet be at peace within. We feel when caught up with a hectic round of busyness that our thinking has to be hectic to keep pace. We get caught on a mental merry-go-round and don't know how to get off!

Such anxiety and doubt can be stilled. The most active man the world has ever known was Christ Jesus. And he was the Way-shower. He came right to the trouble spots of his community, to the very center of the marketplace. He gave to the multitudes unstintingly of his understanding, compassion, and deep love. The sick, the sinner, the lame, the poor, were healed and nourished.

Jesus was at peace. He wasn't in a rush, frustrated, or overtaxed by burdens. He didn't think or speak in terms of limitation. He didn't act precipitately.

We might find ourselves asking, ''How was he able to cope with all the demands made on him?'' What was the quality that manifested itself in his unparalleled patience and peacefulness? It was a spiritual serenity, stemming from his understanding of his true nature as the Son of God. He knew his identity to be the offspring of the Father. How else could he have uttered the words ''I and my Father are one''? n1

n1 John 10:30.

Jesus fully expressed the love, strength, peace, and purity of the divine nature. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in the textbook of Christian Science, ''Jesus represented Christ, the true idea of God.'' n2

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 316.

The textbook states elsewhere, ''Christ, as the true spiritual idea, is the ideal of God now and forever, here and everywhere.'' n3 The Christ is infinitely more, then, than a beautiful but abstract idea. It's the always present divine message, assuring us of our own unity with God and imparting the peace we seek. We don't need to escape physically to a different location or even from the body to be at peace. Rather we need quietly to accept and bear witness to Jesus' statement ''Lo, I am with you alway.'' n4 The Christ is always here, enabling us to feel and experience God's healing presence.

n3 Ibid., p. 361.

n4 Matthew 28:20.

God knows each one of us as His beloved offspring, forever embraced in His love. As we confidently, understandingly, claim our unity with Him through prayer, we'll feel the Christ presence and discern more of what Jesus meant by his words ''I and my Father are one.''

However busy our day, we have immediate access to the Christ, which dissolves feelings of separation, limitation, frustration, pressurized living. We are never really in a holding position, waiting for the Christ to reach us. It's always present and active, and our need is to realize that fact and be receptive to the divine influence.

Our peace of mind is never truly at risk. As God's image we aren't abandoned to our own resources. And because this is the fact of being, there is no situation so tense that the Christ message cannot be heard. We always have the opportunity to let our moments be filled with peace and to witness the Christ in action. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee wil not slumber. . . . The Lord is thy keeper; the Lord it thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. Psalms 121:1-3, 5-8

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