ONE beautiful summer day I couldn't resist being outdoors, so I packed up my day's writing assignment and went to a lovely, secluded place by the seashore. I knew the quiet I would find there would help me meet my deadline. As the waves lapped at my feet and the fragrance of the sea filled the air, ideas began to flow, and I picked up my pen. Suddenly the quiet was shattered by a radio a short distance away. I moaned at the interruption of my peace. How could anyone need music when the sea was providing its own rhythmic melodies? I pondered solutions. Could I ask that the music be turned down just a bit? (I couldn't move far enough to escape the sound in this small area at the sea's edge.)
As I reviewed alternatives I began to think about the Bible study I had done that morning. It included these words of Christ Jesus' to his disciples: ``Your joy no man taketh from you.''1 I saw this promise as applying to my neighbor, too. Perhaps music was his special joy, and I didn't want to take it away from him. I paused and listened to the music. It wasn't too objectionable. I could live with it.
I returned to my writing. But I wasn't happy. I kept thinking about the music, and creative ideas seemed to dwindle. Once again I returned to the promise ``Your joy no man taketh from you.'' Now I began to think about the Bible's message that harmony is the eternal reality of being and that all interruptions of harmony can be healed, should be healed, as Jesus illustrated through his works. I began quietly to trust that joy and harmony were divine gifts that could not be taken away from man.
Immediately there came a shift in the wind, and all the sound was carried away from me! It was no longer a disturbance. In addition, what had been a very hot day was now wonderfully cooled by the fresh ocean breeze. I stayed there several hours, writing peacefully and completing my work. I daresay the writing quality was improved by virtue of my mental peace.
I wouldn't presume to say that my prayers alone had cooled the entire coastline, but the experience was a good example of how finding one's own peace and joy blesses all.
We can find something of the peace that is native to man as God's offspring even in the midst of a busy office, a crowded city, a bustling household. Turning to God in quiet prayer, we can acknowledge the government of His law and the universality of His Christ. Then we will feel the divine healing influence and the calming, uplifting effect of that influence.
Isn't this a reminder of the vital role each of us can play in bringing peace to the world? Remembering that the reality of life is entirely spiritual, governed by divine wisdom, we can help improve, through our prayers and purified living, the general atmosphere of thought. We can help bring to light the harmony of God's creation -- harmony that is often obscured by materialistic thinking.
Worldwide peace can and does begin with you and me! And not in any vague way. Mental peace is a profound force. Our pure consciousness of God's total government of man nullifies aggressive actions by negating the thoughts that impel them.
A poem by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has been for me a prayer for peace. Where the word child is used, I like to think of this child as my thoughts. O gentle presence, peace and joy and
O Life divine, that owns each wait
ing hour, Thou Love that guards the nestling's
Keep Thou my child on upward
wing tonight.2 As we strive to reflect the gentle, peaceful, powerful presence of God in our lives, we will be a potent force for harmony in our world.
1John 16:22. 2Poems, p. 4.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16