Do not fret. Peace. Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid. Here is why these scriptural commandments are so important today and for the future world.
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
The soul of the nation had fallen into rampant self-interest, materialism and greed. It neglected and oppressed the poor. It strayed from the sacred way of love of neighbor and love of the ways of spiritual wisdom. Its politics had become corrupt, its alliances unholy.
The prophet Isaiah warned the nation, because “you put your trust in oppression and deceit, and rely on them…this iniquity shall become for you like a break in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse, whose crash comes suddenly, in an instant.”
Isaiah’s words have spoken to many nations over the past 2,500 years, not just because of their warning but even more importantly because they show that there is a path out of that imminent destruction.
The sacred way of the Spirit that created the earth and all life is merciful. It is infinitely forgiving of those who turn back to its ways while there is still hope of recovery.
This proved true for Isaiah’s society and for others throughout the ages. We need to listen and follow its wisdom today: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quiet and in trust shall be your strength.”
The path back begins in returning to where the Spirit lives within us all, the golden room of the heart’s true core, and resting there. Strength comes in quieting the ego’s selfish, agitated human thoughts and listening instead for the wisdom that arises from the Spirit through our silence and deep trust.
As I write this, America is voting for its President and the composition of Congress and state governments. The outcome will shape our future in many ways.
But whatever the outcome, we still will have the same enormous challenges that threaten our democracy and the survival of the human race and all living species. We still will have brutal social, economic and environmental injustices that must be changed and healing that must be undertaken.
The wisdom of Isaiah says that we need more than just the right politicians in office. No matter who is in these positions of power, we need a shift of cultural consciousness, a change of heart and mind that can come only one way—in returning and rest, in quietness and trust.
We need to break the obsessive, compulsive, white-knuckled, gut-clenched mode of being that many of us have developed over the past several years of political turmoil and several months of intense election anxiety.
We need to break the addictions of the ego to anything less than the Spirit’s ways of right living.
Whoever is in power, we need to be the change we wish to see in the world from our deepest heart outward, starting today. We can live from that calm refuge even here in the agony of fearful uncertainty.
We have a new world to create, the fulfillment of the ancient prophets’ dream. We need rested, strong and quiet souls that are trusting in the Spirit’s guidance and power in order to fulfill that hope.
So take a deep breath. Take a break from the news. Go outside and notice the beauty. Connect with a dear friend. Read some eternal spiritual wisdom. Listen to music that connects you to your depths. Best of all, meditate or pray. Return. Rest. Quiet. Trust. That is where the path begins to the strength we need to save and renew our world.