Where do we look for stability?

Sometimes stability – in our lives, or in the world at large – can seem out of reach. But getting to know God as unchanging good empowers us to feel more fully God’s stabilizing presence.

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Whether in our own family or within the wider community, changes can occur that put a familiar stabilizing influence out of reach. The loss of a loved relative or a respected leader, for instance, can cause us to ask if their unique impact will be lost too.

Over many decades, I’ve been learning how true it is that the qualities we value in others have a source that is never lost: God. Therefore, in changing times we can look for continuity in a deepening grasp of our relation to God, our oneness with all that God is, including spiritual Life, Truth, and Love.

Christian Science teaches the value of looking Spiritward in this way to discern an underlying consistency that is not at the mercy of the ebb and flow of human experience. This Science reveals the truth that God is Spirit, infinite and unchanging good, and that this is our only life.

Understanding this has a practical impact, calming our anxieties and purifying our thoughts and actions. Words from the book of Isaiah paint a picture of such transformation: “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain” (40:4).

The writer was referring to a bigger issue than individual temperament, foreseeing and foretelling the life of John the Baptist, who would prepare people for the coming of Christ Jesus. But in our lives, too, we can pave the way for the coming of Christ – not as a previously absent personal Messiah, but as the ever-present spiritual idea of Truth, forever discoverable in our consciousness.

The timeless spiritual idea of God that enabled Jesus to love with such healing effect is revealed in the Bible and the Christian Science textbook – Mary Baker Eddy’s “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” The healing ideas in these books offer a clear understanding of God and our relation to God, and through this understanding we can glimpse the life of Life, feel the truth of Truth, and better see how to express the love of Love. This enables us to perceive and experience God’s stabilizing presence and power in practice.

Opening our thought to this divine influence lifts us to see ourselves and others in spiritual terms. While we always appreciate the expression of good shining through the example of others, our security is in seeing our own and everyone’s changeless oneness with God. Understanding this unveils fresh opportunities to do good ourselves and brings to light inspired and practical answers to the challenges we face as individuals and as a society. So, we can open our heart to the saving action of Truth identified by Mrs. Eddy. A poem of hers says,

And o’er earth’s troubled, angry sea
I see Christ walk,
And come to me, and tenderly,
Divinely talk.

Change is essential in a world brimming over with the misleading conviction that matter is the foundation and substance of being. And Christ is at hand to empower our adherence to Truth as matter’s limitations are exposed and matter is found to have no intelligence, substance, or reality. The upshot of listening for, hearing, and heeding Christ’s message is increased recognition that instability, like all discord, is actually a material misperception of Spirit, which is all-harmonious.

Mrs. Eddy’s poem continues:

Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock,
Upon Life’s shore,
’Gainst which the winds and waves can shock,
Oh, nevermore!
(“Christ My Refuge,” “Poems,” p. 12)

This Truth is always true. Jesus once commented on two widely known incidents in his day, a fatal accident and a murderous abuse of power (see Luke 13:1-5). Both took many lives. When asked about such destabilizing events, Jesus rebuked the tendency to speculate on material reasons for the tragedies. He highlighted a deeper need to see through the false belief in life’s supposedly mortal framework, which would include belief in random or criminal danger. In the reality of divine Life that Jesus exemplified and proved, there is only goodness, with no contrasting subjection to any such evil.

Jesus knew that the unfolding of God’s infinite goodness truly and provably excludes all else. That goodness continues unabated, whatever loss might loom large in our individual lives or the life of a nation. The enduring stability that Christ reveals remains intact: It is God’s infinitely just, eternally benign, and flawlessly wise presence, power, and love.

Adapted from an editorial published in the Oct. 17, 2022, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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