Out of turmoil, into a place of peace

At times it can feel as though we need to just hunker down and wait out the pandemic before we can truly feel joy and peace. But at every moment we can open our thoughts to God’s love and care, which lifts discouragement and fear.

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No matter where you live, you’ve likely been affected by public health regulations during the pandemic. We’ve all witnessed the spirit of cooperation expressed by so many in response. Yet sometimes this is accompanied by a feeling of just hunkering down and getting through these difficult times, just “waiting it out,” as a friend recently put it.

But that didn’t sit right with me – because I’ve learned through Christian Science about the mental nature of how we experience life.

That realization was a turning point. For weeks I’d been mentally vacillating. Most of the time I felt confident in God’s ability to care for all His children. But then I’d be overcome with fear and heartache for my city, our country, and the whole world.

That began to change as I took mental action. I began actively monitoring my thinking, asking, “Did that thought come from the divine Mind, God?” If so – if it represented God’s goodness – I welcomed it in. If it was based on fear, I dismissed it as human theory and therefore limited and changeable.

This wasn’t just an intellectual exercise. It was opening my heart to acknowledge the joy and love that divine Love, God, continually expresses in all of us as His loved children – which lifts us beyond fear, frustration, and discouragement.

And that’s what happened for me. That evening, when I heard a news report of a community in conflict about when businesses should reopen, I felt genuine compassion for both sides. The next morning, during my run in the park, I was aware that people were smiling and making eye contact. I felt a general softening in all of us.

Late that afternoon I suddenly felt inspired to take a walk along the river. I’d started over there once, weeks earlier, but then it had felt outside my comfort zone, so I’d turned back. This time I walked for miles, drinking in the beauty of the river and the city I love.

The comment my friend had made reminded me to take mental action – and I’ve continued doing so ever since. As a result, there have been no more waves of uncertainty for me – just peaceful confidence that God is constantly expressing love to one and all.

Instead of simply waiting the pandemic out to experience joy and peace, we can each take mental action right now, affirming God’s care for all of us. And together we’ll contribute to an atmosphere of greater health and stability that can ripple out into the world.

Adapted from the Aug. 17, 2020, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.

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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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