The order of divine Science

A Christian Science perspective: On order and finding peace during stressful and chaotic situations.

The world can often seem like a place of chaos and disorder, filled with life difficulties, business problems, bureaucratic inefficiencies, and objects out of place.

I remember feeling the weight and fear of chaos at one time when I was traveling in Europe with my family. We had paid in advance for lodging, but when we arrived at the address on our reservation date, the building was completely dark. When we phoned the landlord from a pay phone, there was no answer. At that point we began to suspect the worst. We were faced with fears that we had been cheated, had nowhere to spend the night, and that we were in the dark in an unsafe situation. We did not speak the language or know what to do next. The confusion and disorder were palpable. But I knew from past experience that prayer could calm our fears in troubling situations and help us find peace. My study of Christian Science had shown me a different order to the universe – not something that tends toward chaos and disorder, but one in which God, as the great Principle of His own universe, holds all creation in harmony, purposefulness, and peace.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, uses “Principle” as a synonym for God when she writes, “In the order of Science, in which the Principle is above what it reflects, all is one grand concord” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 240).

Contrary to what the picture of our situation was, I knew that peace and harmony could be found right at that moment, because we were under the government of Principle. As I prayed to better see this, some words came to thought: “The kingdom of heaven is where you will stay tonight.” I recognized these as a paraphrase of Jesus’ words: “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20, 21). I saw that we did not need to give in to our fears, because harmony was actually present right where we were, and we could be conscious of it.

As we stood there in the dark, I began to feel a sense of calm and even authority. I called the landlord again. This time, there was an answer at the other end. The landlord apologized and explained that there were some unusual circumstances with our original building, and so he came to pick us up. Within 30 minutes we went from fear of impending disaster to being tucked into feather beds.

I was grateful that even before it was resolved, I found peace during this stressful situation. A realization of God’s always present, harmonious government gives us peace. It shifts our viewpoint from a personal one of uncertainty and limitation to the divine order of Principle, Love. Gravitating toward this more infinite viewpoint through humble and heartfelt prayer enables us to remain calm and find more precise and secure order in our day-to-day lives.

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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.”

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