Not long ago I read how some people are turning to meditation to gain peace. They're not necessarily leaving behind their traditional spiritual beliefs, but are meditating in addition to practicing them. Apparently, they're all seeking quieter, calmer lives. Stillness has become the quality so many are searching for - the stillness that refreshes thought and spirit.
Not that stillness is just now becoming popular; it has been sought for centuries. Long ago, one Bible writer saw God as urging us, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10).
God and stillness go hand in hand. To experience the presence and power of God is to experience stillness - and vice versa. Real quietude and peace are permanent, not subject to the turmoil of the material senses. They are spiritual qualities.
But how do you find this divine stillness? The Science of Christ, discovered by Mary Baker Eddy, explains that if we are to have more calm and peace in daily experience, our thought must become still and calm. Why? Because our lives are the products of our thoughts. If one is aware of God, who is good, and recognizes the power of God's peace, his or her life will be blessed with a tangible sense of peace.
Humanly speaking, there are many different techniques for stilling thought. But spiritual stillness comes only through listening to God and learning that God and His creation are inseparable. God, or divine Mind, is the cause of all reality. And God's creation, including you and me, reflects and expresses His peace. We are able to reflect God-given peace because we truly are the emanation, the spiritual offspring, of God.
Long ago, Jezebel threatened the life of the prophet Elijah, and he fled to the wilderness (see I Kings, Chap. 19). While he was there, not knowing what to do, he found a cave and lived in it for a time. There he heard God speaking to him, asking, "What doest thou here, Elijah?" He replied that he was very disturbed about his people and how they had turned away from worshiping God. He said that they had forsaken the covenant they had made with God, and that he felt they would take his life as they had the lives of other prophets.
What happened next reminds me of God's power to still thoughts and lives, then and now. Elijah was told to go stand on a mountain before God. There came a great wind; and then an earthquake; and then a fire. And the Bible says "the Lord was not in" any of these, but that afterward He was found to be present after all - in a "still small voice" (verse 12). It was the power of this voice, God's voice, that eventually calmed Elijah enough for him to hear God's further directing. And when he heard and followed God's commands, he was comforted - and saved.
Today we may not be fleeing for our lives. But daily life sometimes leaves us feeling pretty beat up. As a result, we may wish we could run and hide until the storm passes. Like Elijah, if we can see that God's stillness is not found in the everyday ups and downs, the ebb and flow, of material existence - but rather in thoughtful listening to Him - we'll find that the need to flee has vanished. We'll find that right in the midst of turmoil, God is with us, speaking to us, calming us, reminding us that the peace found in spiritual understanding can't be drowned out by any troubling event.
We might even be able to ask ourselves, "What am I doing here?" In the middle of a tense meeting, a traffic accident, a family fight, illness, unemployment, we still have our ability to hear God. We have our spiritual sense. And through it we can resist being persuaded that evil holds sway over peace. We can remain strong in the understanding that all power and peace belong to God and are reflected in His creation. In this, our stillness is never based on physical activity but on divine power. It can't be taken away, no matter what is going on in our lives.
Learn to turn to God. Listen for His guidance and help. You can find a stillness that's of infinite power.
In quietness and
in confidence shall be