I read the most intriguing chapter this morning from a book written by Emmet Fox in 1932, that ultimately inspired the formation of 12 Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. The author held that our work “is to express in concrete, definite form, the abstract ideas with which God furnishes us, and in order to do this, we must have creative power…Our business is to bring our whole nature as fast as we can into conformity with the Will of God, by constant prayer and unceasing, though unanxious, watching.” Fox contends that when we abuse our free will, trying to work apart from God, physical suffering results.
Now, I certainly do not think that all physical suffering—disease, sickness, death— results from poor choices that we make or lack of spiritual connectivity to a higher power. But I do maintain that alot of our suffering stems from a lack of balance in our lives, and that includes spirituality. Too much work, not enough play, too much worry, too little faith—these things result in stress, fatigue or pain and in some instances, illness. I agree with Dante, who said, “In His will is our peace.” And with this peace, physical suffering may diminish.