When decisions feel beyond our control

With the need to decide the future relationship of the United Kingdom and the European Union extended for at least several more months, today’s contributor shares how she has been praying in response to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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A friend asked me recently if I prayed about Brexit (the process of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union). “Sure,” I said.

But what does that really mean? Whenever I’ve been faced with uncertain and difficult choices, turning to God has always brought me peace beyond that of relying on my own or others’ opinions and provided the answer I needed. So in thinking about Brexit, it’s natural for me to pray in a similar way.

The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6). This kind of prayerful trust isn’t fatalistic. It’s based on a conviction in the practicality of divine goodness that lifts us above relying on politicians or others to personally discern and do the right thing.

This conviction comes from recognizing God as infinite Mind, the source of all good, and “the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal,” as “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy describes the Divine (p. 587). This turns our thought from ruminating on conflicting human opinions to listening for God’s unerring and clear direction. Trusting God to direct each step in infinitely wise and loving ways silences fear, quiets uncertainty, and brings a gentle reassurance that God, good, governs all, as Christian Science reveals.

The peace I’ve found from praying this way in my own life has led to answers to relationship, financial, home, and employment problems in ways I couldn’t have planned or predicted. Witnessing the impact such prayer has in my own experience shows me what is possible. And we can reach this same peace when praying for the world. We don’t need to be drawn into speculating about what might happen. We can know and trust that God’s government of all can have a healing impact on whatever situation we are praying about.

I don’t know how the important current national and international issues will be resolved. But my own experience tells me that when we understandingly trust God rather than leaning on personal opinion and knowledge – or “thine own understanding” – ways open up for progress to happen.

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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.

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