Finding greater certainty

A Christian Science perspective: How do we find stability when fluctuation seems the norm?

The Dec. 1 Monitor’s View on CSmonitor.com, “Spotting the inviolate in oil price volatility,” got me thinking not only about the uncertainty relating to oil price fluctuations – and how they affect people and nations – but about how to experience certainty in an unstable world. The editorial says that in the face of oil price changes, “once again, the Great Sorting is really between those who use uncertainty to create a better world and those who succumb to it like a game of chance.” For nations to respond to uncertainty with constructive action – such as the pursuit of new energy options – is progressive.

But how do you actually come to feel stability and experience it when fluctuation seems the norm? Christ Jesus said that those who heard and practiced his teachings were like “a wise man, which built his house upon a rock,” and neither floods nor winds could bring it down (see Matthew 7:24, 25).

It’s a key point as we look at the issues that tend to promote instability in the world and in individual lives. Jesus’ teachings bring out the importance of worshiping the one God – Spirit. They show that prayer and trust in God are essential. They highlight the living of such Godlike qualities as purity, meekness, and love. Daily practice of his instructions doesn’t mean that the worldwide winds of conflicting values will suddenly die down. But it does mean that we can more readily find a measure of certainty ourselves and at the same time benefit the world.

St. Paul spoke of the need to “work out [our] own salvation.” And he said that it was God who was working in us “both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12, 13). To me, those words reassure us that we can work things out individually, despite uncertainty, and that it’s God who makes it all possible.

The conditions that many face may not encourage hope for a stable, happy life. Yet Jesus’ teachings point to each individual’s direct relationship to God and to the power of God, divine Love, to reveal the presence of good where it may seem absent.

The editorial pointed out that the need, in dealing with fluctuation, is “to find the timeless truths and an underlying harmony.” Christian Science brings out the timeless spiritual truth found in the Bible, that man is the child of God, His blessed, spiritual image. It shows, as Jesus did, that harmony is the spiritual fact of existence even if hidden at the moment, and that we can prove something of this so that certainty is more the rule than the exception in our lives.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, wrote, “Outside the material sense of things, all is harmony” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 489). Discerning the truth of God’s unchanging love, we’ll experience greater harmony and a higher degree of certainty in God’s unchanging care for us and everyone. And this must inevitably make a difference for the better in our world.

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.