“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal…”
declares the July 1776, Declaration of Independence.
But do we?
Have you ever found yourself a bit ahead of life’s measuring stick, or coming out on the short end of it? For me, that sense of equality – the respect of others – can so often get lost in comparisons.
A few years ago I found myself in a job I did not seek, but had accepted out of a sense of duty. Frustration ruled my days, then months, as most of what I set out to accomplish failed. Compounding this dilemma were regular conference calls with colleagues who shared their thrilling successes… Finally, I became physically stressed out too, experiencing a progressive stiffness that interfered with my sleep.
Hoping for some guidance on what to do, I turned to the Bible one day. Perhaps this could be considered a desperate impulse. However, time and again I have found this statement true: “The Bible contains the recipe for all healing.” The words are from a book that has helped me in many tough times, called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
Turning to the Scriptures in that moment of need helped me realize for the first time that comparing myself to others was a mistake, contributing to major self doubt and royally interfering with my ability to discern my way. A passage from Proverbs gave me a refreshing new focus: “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.”
And He did just that!
My approach to work changed. I was no longer trying to figure out everything on my own, nor was I thoughtlessly mimicking others, I found an appreciation for humble prayer that is more about listening for solutions than listing problems.
I began to have restful sleep again as the stiffness eased. And soon I too was contributing my own accomplishments on those colleague conference calls.
I experienced a sense of health and opportunity that only freedom of thought and heart can bring – a freedom to live the best in myself and to highlight the good in everyone else.
This 4th of July, let’s take the truth that all men and women are created equal to heart, and find the independence that doing so can bring to our minds and bodies.