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Faithfully expressing God—that's enough

From the September 1996 issue of The Christian Science Journal

The Christian Science Organization (CSO) at the University of Houston invited the high-school juniors and seniors from the Christian Science Sunday Schools in the Houston area to a get-acquainted party. The following is an excerpt from a talk shared with the group.

In the Bible, in Second Kings, we read that the king of Israel went to the prophet Elisha and took up a bow and arrows at the prophet's request. Elisha told him to shoot out of an open window "the arrow of deliverance from Syria." And the king shot the arrow. Then Elisha said, "Take the arrows." The account continues: "And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice." II Kings 13:17-19

It is as though Elisha had said to the king, "That's not enough. Because you shot three arrows in the ground you will win three battles against your enemy. But since you stopped after three you will lose the war. Why did you not use all the arrows at your disposal? Why did you not use all the weapons that God had set before you?"

Our enemy is that which claims that we are not, right now, the satisfied spiritual child of God. The carnal mind suggests that we are so much less than what God knows us to be. But any lie of the carnal mind can only be experienced so long as we believe the lie, accept it as true.

A friend of mine learned that a lie cannot satisfy, and how a lie eventually proves itself to be totally untrue and useless. One Saturday night she went to a party and drank until she was drunk. Her friends took her to a house and left her alone for several hours. When they returned in the morning they found her unconscious and not breathing. She was taken immediately to a hospital where she was found to have alcohol poisoning and wasn't expected to live.

Her mother and grandmother arrived at the hospital and began to sing hymns to her, even though she was unconscious and on life-support machines. A doctor told the mother that her daughter had an alcohol content of. 5 in her system . "At .1 you're drunk," he said; ".4 is usually fatal." He did not think they could save her. He added that even if she did survive, she would suffer from brain damage because she had been deprived of oxygen for too long a period and her lungs would be irreparable. At this point, the mother called a Christian Science practitioner to help her see that the law of God, not material so-called law, was what was really governing her daughter.

The fact that God, eternal Life, is the girl's Life was deeply acknowledged and cherished. Also, the truth that no child of God could ever be in a life-threatening situation. She was seen as being in a joy-filled and love-flourishing spiritual condition.

By the time the practitioner arrived at the hospital, the young woman had awakened, and all life-support systems had been removed. The practitioner assured her that she was loved by God and that no sense of guilt or fear could attach itself to her as God's beloved daughter. Her family rejoiced in the obvious turnaround in her condition.

When the practitioner arrived at the church service the following morning, gratitude was expressed to him for the girl's wonderful progress. But instead of feeling content, the practitioner felt uneasy. Later when he opened the Bible and read from Second Kings, he realized that the young woman had conquered the predictions of death and brain damage but the war, so to speak, was not over.

The doctor had confirmed that she was out of danger and that there was no sign of brain damage, but he expected that pneumonia could develop, which would force her to stay in the hospital for two more weeks. Both the practitioner and the young woman were encouraged by the fact that the only "diagnosis" that counts is what God knows of Himself and His perfect child. And His child was forever at one with God, good. This truth of man is what Christ Jesus proved in his healing ministry.

The next day no indication of pneumonia was present, and the doctor released the girl. The staff called her "the miracle girl."

The young woman learned that thinking of herself as a mortal could never satisfy her; it was not enough. She caught a glimpse of her spiritual identity as God's reflection. And the practitioner learned not to stop treatment until every false claim is proved to be unreal.

How can the lessons of this experience be applied to the Christian Science organization on a university or college campus? If we attend church or the Sunday School and read the Bible Lesson but feel that attending a CSO is just a bit much, aren't we forgetting the lesson learned from the king who stopped short? Mary Baker Eddy was inspired by God to put the provision for CSOs in the Manual of The Mother Church. See Manual, Art. XXIII, Sect. 8 And making faithful use of this privilege that God has armed us with helps us win the war against being dominated by aggressive material beliefs.

As we come together in the CSOs, we are arming ourselves with the truth of man's oneness with God. This brings a powerful healing presence to our individual lives and to the campus.

The carnal mind would argue that a group of people on a campus cannot accomplish much. But remember what Mrs. Eddy told one of her classes: "We, to-day, in this class-room, are enough to convert the world if we are of one Mind; for then the whole world will feel the influence of this Mind; as when the earth was without form, and Mind spake and form appeared." Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 279-280

Every CSO meeting on every campus should be held with the understanding and the spirit that "we ... are enough to convert the world if we are of one Mind." The acknowledgment "We ... are enough ... if we are of one Mind" should bolster every meeting no matter how small the numbers are.

Spirit defines every idea—matter or mortal mind does not. Therefore, if we are labeled by other students or even professors as being handicapped or inferior, or classified as sinners, wouldn't this be a lie about God's man? Yes. Because only God, Spirit, identifies His own creation, and He calls it "very good." Gen. 1:31 Spirit blesses its every child and forever holds us free from the belief of limitation and harm.

How important not to accept the human mind's classifications as a part of anyone's identity, good or bad. The mortal we appear to be is infinitely less than who we really are. Even the wisdom, beauty, and goodness that we see, right now, must be understood as having their source in God, appearing in a way that we can perceive. They are not in or of matter.

Our attendance at a university or college organization will help us clear away the cobwebs of limiting, materialistic thoughts that can pile up in an academic setting. While preparing for qualifying oral examinations for her doctoral degree at a university, another friend of mine was getting more fearful as the day of the exam approached. She had participated in a mock examination and had done very poorly. And she was receiving many opinions on how to prepare for the real exam, which led to more confusion.

She then called for prayerful help. The practitioner read to her a statement from the daily religious article in The Christian Science Monitor. "Two good carpenters can knock together the first-floor framing system of a good-sized house in one day with sharp-shooter's accuracy. Is the quick work done to prove their merit or because of their merit?" Monitor, March 6, 1986, p. 31

The question was then rephrased, "Are you appearing for this examination to prove your merit or because of your merit?" It was not enough to prove something personally. My friend had this opportunity because of her merit, of who she is spiritually. Her fear began to fade. She further saw that God's love removes the belief that a mistake must be followed by disastrous results and that a failure leads to other failures.

A few days later she went through the oral examination with wonderful results. She proved that as Mind's idea she expressed God's wisdom and intelligence. And whereas the examining committee could take hours to decide whether the candidate would be considered for a doctorate, in this case it took less than fifteen minutes. She was admitted to candidacy and later received her degree.

Wishing and wanting deny heaven and having, and they always present a sense of dualism in thought and experience. There is no strain involved in being fully aware of health, holiness, and love; all is here now. We reflect all of God's goodness. Instead of a never-ending painful process of trying to be better, we find the Science of being —God effortlessly manifesting His idea, man.

There is an old tale about a king's beautiful garden in which everything suddenly began to droop and die. The majestic oak tree was drooping and dying because it thought itself less fruitful than the beautiful rosebush. And the rosebush was wilting because it fancied itself less grand than the oak tree. The oak and the rosebush learned a lesson in humility, so the story goes, from a little daisy. The daisy was as bright as sunshine, so happy to be what it was meant to be. It just tried to be the very best daisy—that was enough.

We must rejoice that we're here to live as God's expression—to express the infinite qualities of our Father-Mother God. And we do this best when we're humble like the daisy, exercising the childlike thought that keeps us teachable, lovable, and kind.

As we participate in the privilege of being an active member of a Christian Science organization, we find that it's not enough to be on a campus without living a prayer-filled life. But doing so— expressing God—is enough. As Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health: "Unfathomable Mind is expressed. The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space." And she adds, "That is enough!" Science and Health, p. 520

Youth Forum is an opportunity for addressing youth-related issues in the context of the divine Science of Truth.

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