Enlarging Our Capacities
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Have you noticed that people keep getting more and more busy? Things just keep piling on-the demands of work, family, church, and school never cease. Recently, when my husband and I were attending an update session at our daughter's school, one parent finally blurted out, "I'm sinking! My child's homework on top of everything else is just too much!"
Many of us get to feeling this way, or at least fear that the last straw will be added to our lives at any moment. Well, through the teachings of Christian Science, which are based on the teachings of Christ Jesus, we can learn by praying to handle with strength and poise all that comes to us.
The textbook of Christian Science states, "The human capacities are enlarged and perfected in proportion as humanity gains the true conception of man and God" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 258). What does a true conception of God and of ourselves have to do with our ability to do what we need to do? A lot.
Our conception of God results in our view of ourselves, and determines our capabilities. For example, if we believe we're merely mortals who are plodding through life, facing challenge after challenge, then it's likely we will feel weighed down, incapable of dealing with everything. It's when we begin to gain a clearer conception of how we relate to God that we find the ability to rely on Him for strength and endurance. Then, when it's necessary to take on more work or responsibilities, we'll successfully trust in what we know of God.
Thought is externalized in life. Christian Science shows that, in proportion to our ability to feel a oneness with God, our lives manifest the perfect qualities of God, including tranquillity and poise. These qualities are ours to express in all we're required to do. Turning to thoughts of God reveals Him to be the source of all our accomplishment. What once we may have believed to be very limited capabilities will begin to broaden and unfold. We will prove that a higher, truer understanding of God is more than just theoretical and has application to each detail of our days.
A true understanding of God and of ourselves is based on the spiritual fact that God and His child are inseparable, yet distinct. God is the cause of all our ability. We are capable of receiving infinite good because we reflect Him who is good alone. All that God is capable of, we are capable of reflecting. God strengthens us. Understanding this upholds us. Furthermore, we are able to do all that we're called on to do with joy.
Prayer helps one to broaden his or her responsibilities without harm. Not long ago I learned that this is true. Above and beyond my usual duties came the call to take care of a friend who had fallen ill. I had deadlines to meet at work and important meetings coming up. Soon I began to feel stressed and pressured. Each morning during this time, I felt pain in my neck and head that would intensify until I felt I just wanted to sleep for months.
I turned to God for a clearer conception of Him and of myself as His daughter. The discomfort didn't end quickly; but by prayerfully looking to God for inspiration and help, I found a clearer sense of His care for me. The stress and anxiety began to fade. In fact, I began to see just how everything was really under God's control and had been all along. And in the proportion that I gained this view, the pain lessened until it finally ended for good and I was healed.
In the Bible, Isaiah teaches, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (41:10). The strength of God is with us, no matter what we're facing. He upholds us gracefully under all circumstances.
If you're being called on to enlarge your capacities, don't be dismayed. Start gaining the true conception of God and you'll find more ability to take on new responsibilities with ease. You can do this as you feel the presence of God.
You'll find in-depth articles about Christian Science in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.