If the weight of the world feels overwhelming

A Christian Science perspective.

Do you ever get overwhelmed by world events? Are there days when things in your own life feel like more than you can handle? We’ve all been there. One day I was weighed down by several problems, both personal and professional. I was looking for answers but couldn’t seem to get my head around my own prayers. I knew a better perspective was present and waiting for me, but I couldn’t shake off the feeling that things were too far out of control. So I decided to get out of the house and go for a walk. And as I walked, I asked God, “How can my little prayers ‘here’ have an impact on events ‘there’?" Then I looked up.

Above my head, leaning over the road, an enormous tree was spreading itself out in full glory. At the very top I noticed its little leaves, each moving independently in the breeze – back and forth, round and round – all securely connected to the tree. Suddenly, I thought, my prayer doesn’t have the responsibility of moving a single leaf or controlling the wind. My prayer opens my eyes to the divine power that “gathered the winds in his fists” and that governs the movement of every leaf (see Proverbs 30:4)!

I breathed a deep sigh of relief. Nothing was on my personal shoulders. Prayer became an invitation to watch what God is doing. I felt that now I could do it, pray – not to solve problems but to witness the solutions that are always at hand.

Health, or harmony, is proof or evidence of God’s relationship with, and care for, the tiniest details of His creation. Prayer doesn’t make health or harmony happen; prayer shows that it is happening. Prayer invites a shift in perception that opens us to a spiritual sense of what is really going on. It isn’t necessarily hard work. Although, as in my case, getting past the problem to actually accepting the invitation to pray, instead of fussing, can take effort. But what a relief prayer can be if it helps us get out of a problem-centered worldview to see the power divine that governs the movement, and cares for the growth, of every element of its wonderful creation.

The author of the book of Revelation records, “Satan shall be loosed out of his prison” (20:7). Who can’t relate to that? But not long after, the author’s prayer led him to an inspired view of harmony and health all around. He described seeing “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (22:1, 2).

The constant, uninterrupted flow of God’s love for us extends and fills all space and time. It is here right now. It leaves no one and nothing out. From the tiniest leaf of a tree to the greatest nations on the earth, no one is cut off from God’s healing love. And prayer reveals it.

Whew. What a relief!

From a blog on the author’s website.

For a Korean translation of this article, see The Herald of Christian Science.

To receive Christian Science perspectives daily or weekly in your inbox, sign up today.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to If the weight of the world feels overwhelming
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today