For many of us, peace of mind has become the No. 1 priority.
I've worked for many years as a court reporter, employed by the county courts. I take verbatim testimony of all courtroom proceedings that I'm assigned to. Intense concentration is necessary in this profession, sometimes for several hours without a break. This heightened sense of mental stimulation would often leave me with fatigue and sleepless nights.
I could find no way out of the hopeless feeling that it would never end. I spent years in physical distress and suffered emotional breakdowns, which would heal slowly when I took a leave of absence from work.
Even after the rest, I would climb right back into the hot seat, and the relentless stress would begin again.
I finally realized it was the pressure of duty that unnerved me. I began to pray to feel that God, not pressure, was in control of my life and that God is responsible for nurturing my thought and actions.
Many times I prayed to God to quiet my thoughts. This prayer revealed that self-absorbing thoughts are unproductive and that I could have dominion over my thinking. I didn't have to be afraid of my own thoughts.
In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "God is Mind, and God is infinite; hence all is Mind" (pg. 492). Starting from this standpoint that God is the only Mind and that as His idea I have only this Mind relieves the burden of having to come up with solutions to problems.
God always has the remedy. Once we perceive God as Mind, we can think of Him as the One who moves our thoughts into alignment with His good thoughts, shepherding us into peace of mind.
Early one morning when I was sound asleep, I heard a loud voice say, "Leave people alone." I woke up startled and looked around to see who had just jolted me out of my sleep. In the next instant, I knew this was the voice of God speaking to me that inner voice that corrects and heals.
It is the strength of God that gives us the inspiration and power to overcome suffering and effaces the power an uncontrollable mind has over us.
My next thought was the interpretation of what was said. I saw it as a command to take my mind off people by not judging, comparing, criticizing, or reciting family history.
Each day, I practiced catching myself when I began to drift into that unnatural way of thinking. I would say, "No, be quiet." This motivated me to be even more firm in keeping my thought on what God was saying to me about His good and unstrained creation and to realize that He fills our moments with joy and tranquility.
I can't say it has always been easy getting hold of my own thoughts. Thought can sometimes become obsessive.
Peace of mind is attainable through prayer, which eliminates fear and anxiety. Then comes the quietude. Peace is gentle.
And what about my mind-boggling job? I take the time for quiet prayer each morning before I go to work. Since I have gained that peace and dominion over my thoughts, I am able to handle whatever I'm working on, and when I'm finished, I retreat again into the peace of prayer.
Still, still with Thee when purple morning breaketh,
When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee,
Fairer than morning, lovelier than the daylight,
Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with Thee....
So shall it ever be in the bright morning,
When hearts awaking see the shadows flee,
O, in that hour, and fairer than the dawning,
Rises the glorious thought, I am with Thee.
Christian Science Hymnal, No. 317