The good ship Harmony

A grandchild brought a present to my wife and me—a little ship inside a plastic container filled with water. When the container is shaken, little silver particles float about like a snowstorm, blotting out the ship.

One morning I took the little ship from the shelf and thought, I'll name it "the good ship Harmony," because it has a gentle stillness. When I shake it and the silver bits fly about, it's hard to see the ship, and I remember that a disturbance in my thinking can make it hard to see the perfection of man.

These thoughts led on to other questions and answers: When I go off to work, can I maintain the calm I enjoy when I am praying? If necessary, can I put down a stormy sense in order to see clearly man's unshakable perfection?

Christ Jesus handled turmoil when he was in a ship and the disciples woke him because there was a great storm of wind. "He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." Mark 4:39.

Jesus spoke with authority, even to the raging elements of the wind and the sea. He put down a claim that matter has power to destroy man; he restored harmony where there had been turbulence and fear.

Yes, I decided, this analogy could be applied to my business affairs or in my home. It was possible that on occasion I was shaking the ship, and unaware of it; that I was responsible for creating in-harmony and blotting out a true sense of man. So what was the remedy? I should listen to Mind, God, for spiritual guidance. Then I would not be inclined to disturb the harmony of my atmosphere.

Suppose someone else is endeavoring to shake my ship and atmosphere with accusations, provocative remarks, and intent to hurt. Can I still this storm? When the container is shaken, nothing happens to the ship. It only appears to be hidden. Thus the material picture may appear to cloud my spiritual view, but the unshakable perfection of man remains intact. If I insist on the fact that harmony is real, controlled by God, the gentle stillness is restored.

In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says, "Befogged in error (the error of believing that matter can be intelligent for good or evil), we can catch clear glimpses of God only as the mists disperse, or as they melt into such thinness that we perceive the divine image in some word or deed which indicates the true idea,—the supremacy and reality of good, the nothingness and unreality of evil." Science and Health, p. 205.

An experience in my business life helped me realize that I could apply some of these insights into the perfection of God's man.

One morning I thought about two colleagues who work close to each other but who for three weeks had not held a friendly conversation. As head of the department, what could I do about the situation? I knew I could acknowledge the perfection of spiritual man. This I did, and I also listened for Mind, God, to guide me.

Soon after work commenced that morning, I felt a spiritual impulsion to call the two colleagues into a room where we could talk the matter out. I spoke very firmly about their conduct, and simultaneously they both began to accept responsibility for this distressing affair. From that moment on, they completely let go of the error and became good friends once again.

If we continue giving our ship a stronger, more stable basis, refusing to have it shaken, turmoil will subside and we will enjoy the beauty of the gentle stillness of God's day.

Lost and found: on the road
November 1, 1982

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