Always ‘above water’
Today’s column explores how we can meet life’s challenges with spiritual poise that does more than just keep us afloat.
—When I called a friend to see how she was doing regarding some challenging family issues, she said, “Well, I’m keeping my head above water.”
In thinking about what I could say that might be helpful to share with her, the following came to mind. Many years ago when I was teaching swimming, the very first skill we taught was how to float, so that everybody would always feel confident in water. We also taught the students how to tread water, so they could keep their heads above water if they found themselves in heavy waves.
Sometimes, when we’re faced with life’s turbulent waters, it can seem as though we don’t have what it takes to stay afloat. But we do. Through God’s grace we have the spiritual strength to meet life’s challenges with poise and dominion.
Years ago I was put in a situation at work that brought with it what seemed like a deluge of responsibilities beyond my capabilities. But rather than panic, I took a moment to think about something I’d been learning in my study of Christian Science: that God’s power and goodness are always present.
A story I’ve found so inspiring illustrates this. It is about Christ Jesus on a ship in a storm (see Matthew 8:23-26). The others on the boat were afraid, but Jesus had such understanding and faith in the power of God, who is boundlessly good, that he “arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
This has helped me see peace and security as God-ordained, rather than volatile. And as God’s spiritual children, expressing God’s nature, all of us have an inherent dominion over feelings of inadequacy or fear that would keep us from doing what we need to do. God Himself is the source of our intelligence and harmony, and the ability to express it.
During those very busy days and weeks, I kept these ideas close in thought. As I did, I found I was able to accomplish the tasks at hand and do much more than just survive. The feeling of being overwhelmed lifted, and I felt a deeper poise and calm. And I saw more clearly than ever before that God is always supporting us with His power and ever-present love. This keeps us well “above water,” even when circumstances seem overwhelming.