Poise and Balance

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

The tightrope walker was performing what seemed impossible tricks. Sitting in the gallery, we were on eye level with this performer and were amazed at how she maintained her balance. How could anyone exercise such poise and perfect balance? Years of training, and the ability to be so focused that she was oblivious of her surroundings, were probably part of the answer.

But there was more to it than that. I was reminded of what Mary Baker Eddy wrote in reference to some spectacular feats of tightrope walking in the 1800s, performed over Niagara Falls by a man who simply went by the name of Blondin: "Had Blondin believed it impossible to walk the rope over Niagara's abyss of waters, he could never have done it. His belief that he could do it gave his thought-forces, called muscles, their flexibility and power which the unscientific might attribute to a lubricating oil. His fear must have disappeared before his power of putting resolve into action could appear" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 199). This explains that Blondin's feats were mental as much as physical.

We may not be walking circus tightropes, but good balance is needful in whatever we are doing. Balance is a very important factor in everyone's life. As just mentioned, it is fear that so often offsets and undermines one's poise and balance. Just so, the lack of fear enables one to exercise control and enjoy mental freedom on life's "high wires."

We cannot hold two thoughts at the same time. We cannot love and hate, despair and rejoice, fear and trust. When the thoughts we have are of God, we cannot be intimidated by fear. God is good and enables us to conduct ourselves with poise. His presence allows us to remain serene and unmoved when faced with difficult situations that throw things out of kilter. The power that lies in prayer to God restores balance to troubled human circumstances.

I often say to myself, "I have my hand in my Father's hand, and every step I take I am taking with Him." We can place our hand in God's hand by learning of His power and trusting in it. Then we'll walk with Him and we won't be afraid. The Scriptures say, "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" (Isaiah 30:21). This describes the nature of God's guidance. His way is perfect, straight, sure, and without fear.

Mrs. Eddy discovered in the teachings of Christ Jesus the Science of being, Christian Science. She was able to heal herself and other people through prayer alone, in a scientific manner. This prayer involved lifting thought to God, who is Love, as Jesus taught, and becoming conscious of God as omnipresent good (see Matthew 6:9-13).

Science and Health also says: "Fear, which is an element of all disease, must be cast out to readjust the balance for God. Casting out evil and fear enables truth to outweigh error" (p. 392). One day a man with a badly injured eye came to visit Eddy. This man was a circus performer, whom she had seen jump from a great height at a fair. She asked if he was afraid when he jumped. He explained that if he were afraid of the jump, it would kill him. Then, talking to the man about that lack of fear, she suggested he apply the same rule to his eyes. She was bringing the power of prayer to bear, "casting out evil and fear." Their talk enlightened this man, and his fear about his eye was replaced with hope and joy. A couple of days later the cabman who had driven him back to the station reported that, by the time the man had reached the station, his eye had been perfectly healed (see The Christian Science Journal, September 1996, p. 17).

God is unfaltering. Our footsteps will never slip when we look to Him as our ever-present strength and help. The balance is always on the side of God, who is good. And we can experience good with the poise provided by spiritual consciousness.

Hold up my goings

in thy paths, that

my footsteps slip not.

Psalms 17:5

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