JUST SAY THE WORDS stress or time pressure in a group of people and see what kind of reaction you get. Nearly everyone has a comment about how they're stressed out by the number of things they have to accomplish in a relatively short period of time. I know. I've been there. And I don't like it! I don't like beginning an appointment with an apology for being late because the freeway was jammed, or trying to cram as much into an hour as possible because I can't say no to one more project. The fact that I don't like being harried prompted me to take a hard look at the whole myth about time pressure. And what I realized was that I don't have to buy into it. On the contrary, every one of us can discover ways to accomplish more than we imagine—peacefully.

Years ago, I stopped hurrying. I'd spent day after day rushing around juggling an active career, three children, church work, some volunteering, and the ever-challenging Los Angeles traffic. I'd lived with this reminder from an article entitled "Improve your time" from a book called Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896 (a collection of writings by Mary Baker Eddy on Christian Science) which says that "rushing around smartly is no proof of accomplishing much" (p. 230). So I tried to make each moment count. But there still didn't seem to be enough hours. Finally, I realized that I needed spiritual solutions rather than more hours in my day. And this brought to mind another book by Mary Baker Eddy, called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy defined time as "mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge ..." (p. 595). The last thing I needed was additional limits. As I prayed to gain more control over my moments, here's what I discovered.

First, time is an arbitrary measurement. This becomes apparent when one questions how a minute, hour, day, week, or month is measured. Time is the distance between two events—birth and death being the most obvious. Certain assumptions are made regarding what happens between any two events, which we can choose to accept or not accept as true. When challenged, many of these assumptions fall of their own weight.

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May 23, 2005

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