The Olympics and breaking limits
A Christian Science perspective on daily life.
The Olympics abound with examples of breaking down limitations. One example in Beijing was the US victory in the men's 4x100-meter freestyle relay. Jason Lezak swam the fastest anchor leg ever, coming from behind to finish ahead of Alain Bernard of France, who went on to win the gold medal in the men's 100-meter freestyle.
That one person can swim faster, jump higher, throw farther, gives others the hope and confidence that it can be done. The example of excellence inspires us to persevere, to break through whatever limits we may be facing in our lives – in daily tasks as well as in athletics.
Limitations are only life's waymarks to progress. What seems a limitation today will become the opportunity for tomorrow's achievement. No limit is permanent. It stands only as a reminder that humankind can do better.
One way that people have found to break down limitations is through turning to God. Mary Baker Eddy, a woman of high hope for humankind, wrote, "Knowledge that we can accomplish the good we hope for, stimulates the system to act in the direction which Mind points out" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 394). Here, Mind is a synonym for God.
Turning to God, divine Mind, anyone can break through limitations. Through a clearer understanding of divinity, individuals gain dominion over the human mind and body. Divinity is God and everything created by God. What God creates is spiritual and perfect. It is unlimited by material conditions and physical forces.
Acknowledging that Mind is the ultimate source of strength, speed, and agility, we can experience something of the dominion that is our heritage as God's creation. Whatever limitation a person is facing, turning to divine Mind can be the first step in breaking through to higher ground because Mind reveals to us that we are spiritual and unlimited by material conditions.
Nothing is impossible with God. The divine Mind not only conceives of success but has created each one with the ability to experience good and to be successful. Whether the limitation seems to be physical or emotional, this condition is actually an illusion. God has created you as the full expression of His being, to be without limitation of any kind. As you understand and trust this, you will break through anything that would limit you.
Christ Jesus was the ultimate example of breaking limitations and achieving success. Jesus showed that all good is possible to God. He healed the sick. He corrected corruption. He humbled the self-righteousness of people with power. He raised the dead.
Jesus had more than human power to overcome limitations. He was the Son of God and brought healing and salvation to all humankind. Jesus was not just a good man who went about doing good 2,000 years ago. He was the promised Messiah. He demonstrated that it's possible for each of us to manifest God's power. He taught everyone who was willing to listen how to turn to God for strength rather than rely on the human mind or body.
For example, Jesus walked on the water and helped Peter do the same. Even though Peter later sank, this happened when he became afraid, "when he saw the wind boisterous." He immediately cried out to Jesus, "Lord, save me" (Matt. 14:30). And Jesus helped him. We may not walk on water, but we can follow Jesus' teachings in many ways and break through limitations. And if we feel overwhelmed at times when we're making that effort, Christ, the spiritual idea Jesus expressed as the Messiah, will also come to our rescue.
This experience surely provided support to Peter when he faced limitations later on. The book of Acts records that Peter healed multitudes through God's power alone. He learned that total reliance on divine power and understanding God's love was a powerful, healing force. Certainly what might have looked like a failure, when Peter became fearful on the water, became a steppingstone to future success.
The Olympics can help us consider the message of divine power in a fresh way. Dominion that comes from turning to divine Mind breaks us free from limits.