June 7, 2012

My cousin is in town taking care of some difficult family business.  And as wearing and even painful as it all is, or could be, she is nothing but light and joy.  Don’t get me wrong: she’s not a Pollyanna.  But she made a decision at some point in her life – a very tough life in many ways – to only be positive.  She always finds the silver lining.

This quality of living – to be joyful regardless of circumstances – was something Jesus was very good at.  Just think of what the Bible tells us about him upon learning of John the Baptist’s death.  He wanted to get away to a “desert place” to perhaps pray and collect himself.  But the multitudes gave him no quiet time.  Mark says that he “was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.”  (see Chapter 6)  He even went on to feed them with 5 loaves and 2 fishes.  And then to walk on the water.  (See Matthew 14)

How do we cultivate this sense of persistent and effective joy – the joy that Jesus says no one can take from you ? (see John 16:22)  How do we maintain a standard of equanimity in the face of an ever-changing world?  How do we get outside of our own viewpoint to find a purer and sweeter consistency?

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the church I belong to, once wrote, “It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.”  (See Science and Health page 390)  In other words, the better you know God, the less likely you are to be fooled by the sights and sounds of mortal existence.

These are wise words to live by, and doing so is a pretty good guarantee of lifelong joy.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

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