Does the weather govern you?

A Christian Science perspective: A response to weather conditions.

I remember some time ago when my wife and I lived for a period of years in a much larger and already furnished home. You might have thought that living in such spacious quarters would make one always feel happy. But what I found after a few weeks was that it didn’t matter how large or well furnished the home was. I was really living in the world of my own thoughts. My thinking, far more than my surroundings, governed my experience. I find that a good lesson to consider in the midst of difficult weather.

Sometimes people complain about the weather. But have you ever considered that complaint itself is bad weather? Being unhappy, ungrateful, and having one’s thought closed to the presence of good contributes more significantly to the mental atmosphere than a meter of snow.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this publication and a New Englander with lots of experience of New England weather, wrote a book called “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” The book shows us that we need not be the victims of anything physical, including the weather. The last chapter of the book is composed of letters from people who were helped by reading the book, including one from Edinburgh, Scotland, that says the ideas in the book gave her dominion over weather. The woman writes: “I had also suffered constantly from bilious attacks, colds, and a weak chest, and had been warned not to be out in wet weather, etc., but now, I am glad to say, I am quite free from all those material laws and go out in all sorts of weather” (p. 663).

Something that has helped me overcome adverse effects of weather (and I come from Ottawa, which, though it can get hot and humid in the summer, is not exactly famous for being subtropical) is praying every day. When I read the Bible early in the morning, I affirm that God, infinite good, and not the weather, is all-powerful, supreme, and governing me and my neighbors. This prayer is a quiet reminder that everyone – in their true being as the child of God, created in His image and likeness – is more glorious than and wonderfully above anything physical, including temperature, precipitation, and wind. Instead of a physical form with a mind or soul inside, the real identity of each of us reflects the Divine, and so is purely spiritual, joyous, and free. When we allow our joy and confidence to come from the understanding of our relationship to God, we prove in a significant way that our nature is spiritual, and not subject to weather conditions.

In the Bible, after witnessing a great show of wind, earthquake, and fire, the prophet Elijah hears God talking to him in a “still small voice” (I Kings 19:12). From this experience, Elijah discovered that God was not in the weather, in this case a wind, but in a small voice – a divine consciousness or conscience, which we all can be receptive to, and which Christ Jesus demonstrated in word and works. So rather than going along mentally with dire weather predictions and the expectation of disruptions and unhappiness that can go with those predictions, I love to listen for that still, small voice of calm reassurance. It’s good to know, too, that God is providing that same calm and quiet strength to parents bundling up their children for the cold, to those shoveling out cars from snow, or to commuters, for example. It gives us stability and direction, above the vagaries of the weather.

In listening for and obeying God, I begin to see that peace and protection are available to everyone, wherever they are, in whatever circumstance or weather. This is because as God is good, and is all, the good we hold to is upheld by our creator – good itself! Starting your day with the determination to trust in God, and do good, means that inclement weather cannot wash away your sense of purpose and joy. And that’s a true demonstration of expressing your dominion over weather!

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.