Sacred space in a 100-m.p.h. world

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

In a world filled with calamities, many people are looking for sacred spaces - places of stillness apart from the daily routine that tends to shut out awareness of the living presence of a higher power.

For me, a sacred space is a mental state of prayer where nothing else has the floor or runs the show but the presence of God, Love. This is where Spirit speaks, guides, and gives spiritual answers. How is thought poised in this sacred space? It is quiet and fearless, abiding in the absolute authority of God. In humility, it is open to God's presence. There is no need to travel somewhere in order to gain this sense.

Sacred places date back hundreds of years ago. In the Bible, one place that was considered sacred was the inner sanctuary of the Jewish temple called the "Holy of Holies." Although it signified the very presence of God, no one had access to this sacred place except for the priest who entered once a year.

To me, sacredness is bigger than ritual, ceremony, and buildings. All through the Bible there were people who lived sacred lives - lives with a heart open to divine Love and its movements. For these luminaries there was no denial of access to God. They experienced in unlikely places and ways holy moments of profound unity with God that reinforced their inseparable relationship with their Creator. Holy moments shaped the lives of these individuals who continue to show us the possibilities of Spirit.

One of the great Bible characters, Moses, while not necessarily looking for holy moments, seemed to be pursued by them. At one point, a burning bush appeared to him. The bush wasn't being consumed by the fire, so Moses approached it to find out what was happening. He heard God say, "Come no nearer; take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground" (Ex. 3:5, New English Bible).

To me, this says that God was right where Moses was standing. If Moses could grasp the power of this inner spiritual sanctuary where God was present with him, with God's help he could accomplish anything. Then God gave Moses his great directions for life: to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt.

What made these experiences in the Bible sacred was that mortal opinions, influences, and power were silenced so that God's messages of peace, direction, and prophecy of events were all that could be heard. Sacredness includes the sense of being set apart and consecrated to serving and honoring God. What's sacred is truly set apart from negative human thinking and concepts.

Mary Baker Eddy, who established this newspaper, wrote about sacredness in relation to what it means to really understand God and His spiritual creation. She wrote, "It was to enter unshod the Holy of Holies, where the miracle of grace appears, and where the miracles of Jesus had their birth, - healing the sick, casting out evils, and resurrecting the human sense to the belief that Life, God, is not buried in matter" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," pp. 77-78).

I'm learning that no matter where I am, there is nothing that can shut me out of this sacred sanctuary where I feel God's embrace. Clearly, each of us has access to this sacred space that shows us what God is able to do in our lives.

He that dwelleth
in the secret place
of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalms 91:1

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