Going strong

ARE you a marathoner? Or a homemaker with three children and a part-time job? Are you a student spending long hours in the library? Or a retiree with endless volunteer commitments? Whatever you do, staying power, stamina, is probably important to you.

Endurance does not necessarily depend on bodily elements, such as muscles, nerves, or blood. Real strength can be proved to be a mental quality - an attribute of God, which man reflects. The Bible declares, ''It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.'' n1

n1 Psalms 18:32.

The might of divine Spirit, of supreme Mind, is ever with us, and we can be more and more conscious of this beneficent divine presence.

It's through prayer that we awake to the perception of God with us. This prayer is much more than a rote repetition of words; it's a heartfelt hungering for the things of Spirit. In thought that is humble, pure, expectant - indeed, Christlike - we inevitably know God and feel His omnipotent presence.

The master Christian, Christ Jesus, knew firsthand the might of God. The Bible records, ''And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.'' n 2

n2 Luke 4:14.

What was the result? Preaching in Nazareth and successfully eluding an angry mob; healing a demoniac in Capernaum; freeing Peter's mother-in-law from a high fever; preaching to a crowd by the Lake of Gennesaret; ministering to his disciples; cleansing a leper. n3

n3 See Like, Chaps. 4 and 5.

And how did Jesus refresh himself after such stupendous good works? We have no record that he ate special foods for strength or sought extra sleep for renewal. Rather, the Bible states, ''He withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.'' n4

n4 Luke 5:16.

The teachings of Christian Science help explain why prayer enables us to maintain strength. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ''When mentality gives rest to the body, the next toil will fatigue you less, for you are working out the problem of being in divine metaphysics; and in proportion as you understand the control which Mind has over so-called matter, you will be able to demonstrate this control.'' n5

n5 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 217.

The strength of divine Mind, God, was particularly evident to me when I was living in a tropical climate. The summer months were especially severe; the temperature would rise and the cooling trade winds fade. One August day I was walking in town when I suddenly felt weak and faint. Sitting down on a nearby stoop, I began to pray.

In communion with God I turned thought radically away from the body, from physical sensation, and began identifying myself as the very offspring of the one divine Mind. It wasn't so much a prayer of petition (''Please, God, help me'') as a prayer of affirmation (''Thank you, Father, for being with me and holding me up''). In about fifteen minutes I was rejuvenated and ready to continue on my way.

Although I did sit for a while, and in the shade at that, it was not the rest that healed me. It was the consciousness of Mind's strengthening presence. Though I spent a full year in that climate, there was no further trouble with weakness - evidence that any latent fear of the heat had been dispelled. I was healed spiritually and therefore permanently.

Each of us can turn to God anywhere, anytime, for refreshment and renewal. If our day seems long, if the demands on us are multiplying, or if the race before us seems endless, we'll have more stamina as we trust our creator to strengthen us. The might of divine Mind is utterly boundless; through prayer we can progressively reflect more of that divine power. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Hast htou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. . . . They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:28, 29,31

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