HOW easy it is to get caught up in the rapid pace of contemporary living. It seems as though there's not enough time and too much to do. Is it any wonder then, that tension comes to be seen as unavoidable?
But we don't have to just ``put up with'' tension. It's not, in fact, a normal part of the nature of man as the child of God. God didn't create man to be constantly bombarded by the demands and pressures of a material world. God, Spirit, created man--created each one of us--to be like Him. That means we are spiritual. The Founder of The Church of Christ, Scientist, Mary Baker Eddy, gives us a glimpse of what this means when she talks in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures about how astronomy has corrected our perception of the so-lar system to show us that the earth is in orbit around the sun rather than the reverse. She then explains, speaking of God as Mind and Soul: ``As astronomy reverses the human perception of the movement of the solar system, so Christian Science reverses the seeming relation of Soul and body and makes body tributary to Mind. Thus it is with man, who is but the humble servant of the restful Mind, though it seems otherwise to finite sense'' (p. 119-120). Over and over in my life I've seen how obeying God does bring us rest!
Christ Jesus may not have known of the hurry-up pace of twentieth-century living. But he surely knew the solution! He understood this ``restful Mind,'' God, and God's loving care of man. Matthew's Gospel tells us that Jesus promised: ``Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls'' (11:28, 29).
Rest that sinks right down into your being. Now that's real rest! Although the externals of living have changed immeasurably since Jesus' time, the internals--the moral and mental qualities of thought that need nurturing and developing--haven't really changed at all. When you think of ``soul,'' don't you think of that deep core that really identifies us? This fundamental reality of our being is actually coming constantly from God. And it is God who gives us conscious purpose for living, God who gives us our reason for being.
Think about God. God is really at the center of life. In fact, God is Life. As His child, we have an identity, and our identity starts in divine Spirit and continues in Spirit. God creates and maintains us as individuals, but neither our identity nor our individuality ever filters through a material organism. We learn of ourselves as we are--``the humble servant of the restful Mind''-- when we perceive that every aspect of our true selfhood reflects God.
Even though materiality claims to be a god in itself, full of selfish hunger and a lust for power, it can never control us. We can only rightfully think of ourselves as belonging to God. In the Old Testament book of Genesis, God's closeness to man is described in one place as ``a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven'' (28:12). On the ladder were angels, constantly ascending and descending. Can't we see this image as showing us how God is always sending His thoughts to us? The ideas God is sending us are order and intelligence, love and peace, purpose and progress. There is no end to His thought, and there is no end to our willingness and ability to express the ideas we receive from Him.
The thought of this loving, restful God is reassuring, to say the least. It doesn't separate us from the demands that He makes on us. But it helps us meet these demands by showing us where the ideas, the energy, the intelligence, the supply, the vision, we need come from.
Serving God takes the rush from our daily round. We become more thoughtful, less hurried, much more considerate, much more gracious in our treatment of others. Yet we accomplish more than ever before. Isn't that because we're growing more fully into the individual that God has made, the one we really are.