HAVE you ever felt powerless, completely frustrated over a decision made by other people -- government officials, company management, family members, whoever? The decision affects your life, and there appears to be no way you can change it. Someone else is in charge. Probably most of us have occasionally found ourselves in situations like this. But when we turn our thoughts away from what may seem materially a hopeless state of affairs, we'll find there is a way to resolve the difficulty -- spiritually.
No matter how distressed we may feel, we can find peace and a spiritual sense of our own direction by yielding, through prayer, to God's authority. Ultimately the harmonious resolution of every problem lies with God and our response to His direction. And the sooner we learn to subjugate our views of what other people ought to do, the more truly effective our own efforts will become in whatever work we are in charge of.
``What doth the Lord require of thee,'' we read in the Bible, ``but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?''1 Being just and merciful and humble doesn't mean being passively submissive to human will. It means lifting thought above conflicting human opinions into the spiritual realm that Jesus called the kingdom of God. This heavenly kingdom isn't way off, hard to find, but within us.2
When we dwell in the kingdom of God through humble, consecrated prayer, we find the spiritual peace that empowers us to continue with our work, strive consistently to please God, and refuse to engage in fruitless theorizing over who's right and who's wrong. In cases where corrective action on our part is appropriate, we will be divinely guided in taking it.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``Your influence for good depends upon the weight you throw into the right scale. The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable.''3
I discovered some years ago that the considerable effort required to do and embody only good keeps one so busy that there's very little time left over for fretting.
Without consulting or even telling me, the management where I worked greatly altered my job. Certain procedures were changed, and I felt subtly less valued. At first I was miserable. I was also convinced that the new procedures wouldn't work.
So what was I to do? Quit, go home, and brood? Or pray? I prayed.
As a Christian Scientist I had learned that if any course of action is wrongly conceived, not firmly rooted in divine Principle, it won't succeed. In our prayerful weighing of factors we don't need to be either intractably for or against a particular course. Our task is to support God's direction, which is always revealed to us through quiet, persistent prayer.
``Except the Lord build the house,'' the Bible says, ``they labour in vain that build it.''4 I reasoned that my real purpose was to build that ``house,'' so to speak, under God's direction -- to keep my thinking pure and wholly free of acrimony.
It worked. Not only was I healed of injured pride and self-righteousness, but I discovered a broader, deeper sense of serving God. This eventually led me into a new and rewarding field.
As we quietly, prayerfully strive to do our own work with grace and lovingkindness, we free ourselves of the notion that ``someone else'' is in charge of -- and is damaging -- what so deeply affects our lives. Thus we find spiritual serenity in the conviction that only God, all-embracing Love, is in control.
1Micah 6:8. 2See Luke 17:20, 21. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 192. 4Psalms 127:1.