My wife, in a minicrisis and on the edge of an emotional melt-down, called me for help. She'd just gotten a great professional opportunity, and now it looked as if things might unravel.
The good news? She'd been granted an interview with a writer who's red hot right now, with a book on The New York Times bestseller list.
The bad news? The interview was on the other side of the Los Angeles basin, and my wife now faced a snarl of terrible traffic. She was dreading that she might be late and perhaps lose the interview. As soon as she called from the road, I went online, found a map of the current traffic conditions, and started coaching her around the traffic jam.
Suddenly another minicrisis in the making spilled out. My daughter at college in the Midwest contacted me. She was in a tizzy because she needed a single-lens reflex camera for a class, and she needed it "yesterday."
I added that to my activities of the moment and tried to stay calm, even as I helped both family members stay calm while resolving their immediate concerns. As I continued to chart the course around the traffic, I also began a camera hunt.
Onto that scene, a scene that could have become one of high but not useful drama, dropped what might be called an AOL moment. You know the refrain, "You've got mail." It was an e-mail from a producer of a radio program. She wrote, "I'm working on a program about dealing with dramatic moments in life." I glanced at it and chuckled to myself, "I'm living this, or at least striving to, right now."
The e-mail served as a helpful reminder to me, almost as if it were a message from the Divine. It helped me recall that the source of true calm is a divine source. The Psalmist put it simply: "He [meaning God] maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still" (107:29).
Just think of that. It implies who God is. It states specifically what God does. It is in His nature to provide the remedy for too much drama. It is in His nature to impart the peace, the harmony, the tranquility, the serenity for which we all yearn at times. It is in His nature to still emotional storms and replace them with His calm.
And it is in our nature to embody what He imparts to us.
Think of Jesus while at sea, asleep in a boat with his disciples. They faced a literal storm, perhaps expressive of the emotional upheaval swirling around them. What did he do? The Scriptures say, "He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm" (Mark 4:39).
That Christly message of "peace, be still" wasn't just for them; it is also for us. Christ, which can be thought of as the message from God to human consciousness, is even today communicating to us the calm and peace and stillness that are so consistent with the divine nature, and so helpful to us.
Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered there's a Science of the Christ, once wrote, "O glorious hope! there remaineth a rest for the righteous, a rest in Christ, a peace in Love. The thought of it stills complaint; the heaving surf of life's troubled sea foams itself away, and underneath is a deep-settled calm" ("Message to The Mother Church for 1902," p. 19).
You know, things worked out. My wife made it around the worst of the traffic, arrived at the interview in a timely manner, and came away with a great success. The episode with my daughter and the single-lens reflex camera was smoothly resolved.
And me? I'm still pondering the lesson that none of us have to get swept up in high drama. We can have lives that are shaped by the Christly message of "peace, be still." Lives where we feel the deep-settled calm that comes from the heavenly Father. Lives that show this deep and settled calm really is native to each one of us.