The Apostle Paul recommends prayer. He said that in praying, "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)
But is the most effective approach to prayer merely a pleading for respite from the frenetic pace? I have prayed that way on occasion, but was never really satisfied by it. The prayer that truly rests and refreshes involves affirming, and coming to feel, the all-power and all-presence of divine Love, omniscient Mind, all-need-supplying-Spirit. And it can make a huge difference.
She wrote, "A little more grace, a motive made pure, a few truths tenderly told, a heart softened, a character subdued, a life consecrated, would restore the right action of the mental mechanism and make body and soul move in accord with God." (p. 354)
No matter how busy I was, I tucked into my days as many opportunities as I could find to express grace, share truths with friends in need, improve my motives - in other words, to live my prayers. This eased me through the most hectic times and gave real substance to my activities.
One day, though, as I was preparing for a dinner party for thirty, I had a moment where I was particularly frazzled. I needed to go do the grocery shopping for the dinner early in the morning before attending my daughter's school concert. It was essential that everything go like clockwork that day, as I really didn't have a minute to spare. A very intricate list of ingrediants was made the night before. Just before heading to the store in the morning, I took a moment to clip some coupons. When I arrived at the store, I discovered I had the coupons in one hand, but no list.
There was no time to go home and retrieve the list, and the items were unusual ingrediants and in different quantities than I would normally buy. I had no idea what to look for or how much I would need without that list. I was pretty angry with myself. I had no time for this. But with my empty shopping cart in front of me, I began to pray to see what God would have me know and do.
I entered the store and started shopping. As I did, I pondered my motive in hosting this dinner party. It occurred to me that divine Love had impelled the activity. This dinner was to be an engagement party for my stepson and a first opportunity for the two families to meet. I figured that the same Love, God, impelling the activity, was also supplying me with the intelligence, energy, skill, and time to carry it out. Realizing that Love was my motivator and was supplying all the grace I needed to follow through with the plans lifted a feeling of burden that I had carried since I proposed the idea of hosting the dinner.
I wish you thoughtful, joy-filled quiet moments today. May the peace of God through Christ, found in prayer, keep your hearts and minds and motives and activities centered on divine, ever-present good. And may each of your December days be full of memorable expressions of His grace. This Christmas, every Christmas, is replete with blessings.