Stability begins within.
It’s too easy, when we’re dissatisfied with our lot in life, to run to the first distraction that comes our way—as if it’s ‘the way’ of solving our problems.
It isn’t. It won’t be.
Not only that—it can’t be. It can’t be the solution, when we don’t first know what the problem is.
We may think we know what the problem is, but most often we, who feel unstable, have no clue.
Here is one clue to it:
“They who reach down into the depths of life where, in the stillness, the voice of God is heard, have the stabilizing power which carries them poised and serene through the hurricane of difficulties.”
—Spencer W. Kimball
Instability is, however, an ironical clue. The sheer presence of instability is the innocent presence of, and the marker for, inner calamity—which often lies unconscious to us. Yet, knowing where we don’t want to be is important in leading us closer to our glorious panacea—if ever there was one.
Knowing what we don’t want means we’re at least one step ahead of blithering confusion. It also provides the necessary motivation for us to clamber back into a life we richly desire and, possibly, deserve—if we wish to live for the glory of God.
Harnessing Dissatisfaction By Avoiding Distraction
Distractions of purpose, which is to want several things possibly simultaneously, and worse to be able to do these, are our true nemesis in this, the busiest of days. ‘More’ is not more; it’s less.
Because we are innately unhappy when perhaps we once were, or maybe never were but where we have some vision for happiness, we are easily unsettled. Between periods of relative passivity our anxiety rises when we sense opportunities to redeem our visions of living glory.
These are our get-rich-quick-schemes and the like; or jobs or vocations where we see ourselves acting out what we believe deep down are the things we have to offer the world.
But these are distractions and they don’t help. Any decent life that makes a difference makes a difference in others’ lives—in the outer world. And the differences made occur over years, not days or weeks. Differences start small. And real differences are sustained, and our sustaining them requires us to have sustainability—to be stable persons. Stable people are focused and not easily distracted.
Becoming More Stable
God truly wants more stable people serving the world. We can all grow in stability. And when we do, we meet God’s will more and more. But to whose standard do we compare? That is the point—no comparison should be made. We are each unique.
Becoming more stable can be seen as simple as becoming inwardly content.
When we work on our contentedness, and bring it to the condition of the sublimely serene moment, connecting moment to moment, we have found stability. In these moments, within similar environmental conditions (solitude and silence), we have the capacity to hear that still, small voice of God—guiding, goading, and gladdening us.
This is not an exercise in perfection, but an exercise in simple practice.
It is an enjoyable practice when we get it right. To feel more stable means that we can enjoy life simply for what it is—even in spite of variables either pleasurable or painful.
Stability to withstand difficulties is connected with contentedness. The more content our ordinary practice of life, the more stability we enjoy, the more we honour God.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.