IT was to be my first apartment. My mother would help me look. I was full of thoughts of what my new community would be like. But my expectations were dashed as we drove through the streets. Everything looked so old and worn-out. Perhaps you have had a similar experience, where everything seemed to be working out so well and then suddenly something happened to burst the bubble. Is the good in our lives really that tenuous? Is it just a big bubble, popped by life's harsh realities?
It may seem that way if we limit our view of life to just what we have planned. Imagining what we want can often be more like wishful thinking than thoughtful planning. To prevent being passively dragged along by circumstances, a different perspective is required, a spiritual view.
The only eternally unchangeable dependability is God, whom the Psalmist described as ``the rock of my salvation.''1 This Biblical name for God describes His nature as permanent, strong, unmovable. God, divine Spirit, is present without limitation, everywhere present. So we can depend on God, His unmistakable wisdom, divine guidance, and eternal order to be present with us at every moment, to maintain harmonious control of us, our environment, and all. Trusting our hopes and plans to God, divine Principle, gives us a stability and security otherwise unattainable.
In my search for a new home, I needed to put aside preconceived notions and more honestly seek to learn about the ever-present, sheltering nature of God. That evening, my mother suggested I pray about the situation.
As I prayed, I thought of Moses and the children of Israel. Full of expectation, they had left Egypt for a new home, the Promised Land, only to be pursued by the Egyptians and confronted by the Red Sea. Moses turned to God, and God's answer was to go forward. For me that evening, going forward meant being willing to look for a home, instead of simply being discouraged by the appearance of the town. God had prepared a place for the children of Israel, and He led them all the way to it. I knew He would lead me all the way to my place, too.
As I continued to pray, it occurred to me to think of the qualities of God that I yearned to have present in my new home. Instead of picturing an apartment with a particular floor plan in certain surroundings, I really began to feel the essence of home in its spiritual substance of love, joy, beauty, peace, harmony, order, safety. I realized, then, that since these qualities were of God, we already have them as His children. With this (to me) revolutionary conviction, I not only felt assured that God would lead me all the way to my ``Promised Land,'' but I was certain that I could never be separated from a spiritual understanding of home. New meaning was breathed into Jesus' promise ``In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.''2
The next day we found an apartment that I enjoyed as long as I lived in that community. More important, I gained a permanent, spiritual sense of being at home with God that has never left me.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, refers to the Christ as coming ``to burst the bubbles of earth with a breath of heaven, and acquaint sensual mortals with the mystery of godliness, -- unchanging, unquenchable Love.''3
To replace fragile hopes with the solid foundation of dependence on God, good, is to anchor ourselves in the eternal Rock. Embraced by the presence of Christ, we are saved from ``the bubbles of earth.'' Then there is nothing left that can be burst.
1Psalms 89:26. 2John 14:2. 3Miscellaneous Writings, p. 328.