One Sunday, after having attended a Christian Science church service, I stopped at a large plaza near the church. I sat down on a bench and began to look at the beautiful green trees that surrounded the plaza. Then I saw a young man under a large tree doing physical exercises. He didn't seem at all concerned with the great number of people who were around him. I was impressed not only with his perseverance but also with the fact that he was perfectly dressed in his athletic gear for the activity.
I was interested, too, in the questions that came to mind while I continued to watch him. My questions, however, came in terms of spirituality. Am I as persistent and consistent as this man is in exercising my spiritual capacities and understanding of God that I'm gaining from my study of Christian Science? Am I suitably clothed in spiritual purity? I had to admit to myself that the answer to both questions was probably "no."
At that point I understood that in spite of having been acquainted with Christian Science for quite a long time and having been a church member, I wasn't doing all that I could to progress spiritually. When I was faced with a problem, I immediately got in touch with a Christian Science practitioner to help me. Now, there's nothing wrong with calling upon a practitioner for prayerful help. But I realized that I wasn't just calling for help; I was turning over the responsibility for spiritual progress and healing to the practitioner. I had been believing that someone else could do the "exercise" while I would reap the benefits.