On Being at Peace

Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.

There are people today who are standing up for the right to be at peace. Perhaps you want peace, for your city or country. For your neighborhood, and most of all for yourself. If peace is so vital to each of us, it must be essential to all of us. You could say that peace is mankind's ultimate goal. And peace must first be so cherished in the hearts of individuals that they fiercely defend their right to it in every aspect of their lives.

Something happened recently that made me feel I'd contributed something to collective peace. When I returned from a church meeting, I discovered that my eyeglasses were missing. My first reaction was dismay, followed by a spurt of anger at myself for having been careless. But as a devoted reader of the Bible and as a Christian Scientist, I stopped these thoughts, which were infringing on my right to unimpeachable peace. One Bible statement in Colossians says, "Ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power" (2:10). It was clear to me that this says that God, the only power, is my source of intelligence, direction, and completeness. This meant I could not be without whatever was useful to me, because I could never be without God. As I had learned, when we understand the consistent relation we have to God, we will be at peace.

In full accord with the Bible, Christian Science teaches that inharmony -- the lack of peace -- is untrue because God, good, is All and governs all. But you might say, "I still don't see what that's got to do with peace and lost glasses." Well, in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, we find this: "Evil is destroyed by the sense of good" (p. 311). Anyone can reject evil by becoming fully conscious of God's nature. This can happen right where evil is apparent. This includes predicaments like the one I found myself in.

The Bible tells of Christ Jesus, a man who remained unmoved and unimpressed even by tempests, terrorism, and the betrayal of friends. For Jesus, God was so evidently present and potent that no evil could take away his peace. The teachings of Jesus show that evil has no cause. We can see God's changeless love by really paying attention to Jesus' words, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). Christian Science, which Mrs. Eddy discovered in 1866, is based on all that Jesus taught.

Just how do we defend our peace at any given point? Not through sheer force of will or fearful self-assertiveness. True defense is in the awareness that God constantly loves us and preserves our peace. The awareness of His presence is the Christ, which Jesus expressed, and which brings undisturbable harmony.

To experience trustworthy peace, we must realize our unity with God. We can turn unconditionally to Him and realize that He is the only power operating anywhere. Honoring God as all-power and all-presence obeys the First Commandment. Not only does it quiet consciousness; this type of thinking brings inspiration -- and answers to problems.

These were some of the spiritual facts I considered as I returned to look for my glasses where I'd last had them. Well, I didn't find them. But I refused to believe that God was not in charge of things. Three days later, I saw once again that our desire to find unimpeachable peace is rewarded. A woman employed in the building adjacent to our church saw the glasses in the middle of the parking lot. She saw to it that they were returned to my church, and they were delivered to me in perfect condition. The lesson here was not just in praying about a lost possession; it was in maintaining a sense of peace throughout.

I do not doubt that God is universal or that His law of good resolves both large and small human needs. And since God maintains my peace and yours, He can and does sustain peace throughout His universe. We can find this peace evident night and day, in small and large ways, by recognizing that we are one with Him. This is defending our peace at all times.

You can find other articles that discuss prayer in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.

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