When the pressure is on

I had exactly three weeks to study for my graduate comprehensive exams. My colleagues had been studying for the past three months. Because of other responsibilities, I had not been able to start preparing that far in advance. Now I was greatly afraid, and it looked as though there was no possible way to learn all the necessary information in such a short time. The pressure was on.

There was no person who could help me. And I could not rely on my limited human capacity to complete this project. However, I knew that there was an ever-available and most reliable source that could be turned to under any pressure situation. That source was God.

Christ Jesus openly admitted, ''I can of mine own self do nothing.'' n1 But he consistently recognized that he could turn to his divine source for help. He credited his heavenly Father with all he achieved, and proclaimed, ''With God all things are possible.'' n2

n1 John 5:30.

n2 Matthew 19:26.

I knew that if I were to cultivate this Christly attitude I would experience God's help. As a student of Christian Science I had been learning that God is divine Mind - a term for Deity alluded to in the Bible. I had come to understand Him as all-knowing, infinite, the only genuine source of man's intelligence. I saw that because God and man are inseparable as creator and creation, the divine Mind is always providing man with all the ideas he needs. Though it certainly seems otherwise, man does not, in truth, have a personal, limited mind separate from God. He is the reflection of the one perfect Mind. Man naturally expresses unlimited intelligence and perception.

Moreover, as God's reflection, man is free from fear and pressure. He's not a victim of time. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy , defines ''time'' as ''mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge . . . .'' n3

n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 595.

The man of God's creating is not subject to mortal measurements. He is dependent only on right ideas that are constantly imparted to him by God.

These statements may seem abstract to a limited, mortal sense of life. But they're actually highly practical spiritual truths, as I was able to prove.

Before starting to study each day, I prayed; that is, I mentally affirmed that these truths of God and man applied to me - that as God's reflection I was inseparable from His wisdom and direction, and therefore I could comprehend and retain all the needed information for my exams.

As I understood and trusted these truths, a heavy sense of burden, and fears and pressure, began to diminish. I actually started to relax and enjoy my studies.

Mrs. Eddy explains in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ''The term Science, properly understood, refers only to the laws of God and to His government of the universe, inclusive of man. From this it follows that business men and cultured scholars have found that Christian Science enhances their endurance and mental powers, enlarges their perception of character, gives them acuteness and comprehensiveness and an ability to exceed their ordinary capacity.'' n4

n4 Ibid., p. 128.

Two days before the exam, I woke up thinking of a topic that had not been given as a category to study. Trusting my spiritual intuition, I went to the library and researched the topic. Friends who had taken the exam in previous years assured me that this particular research was unnecessary.

When the morning of the exam came, I felt completely prepared and was able to answer the questions with perfect ease. And I could not believe the last question. It was exactly what I had felt led to study! Had I not done the research for this question, it's doubtful I would have passed the exam, and I would have had to wait another semester to graduate.

When the pressure is on, there is help available. We can confidently turn to God for direction. We can accomplish our tasks with joy. We can trust the comforting reassurance of the Bible's promise: ''He performeth the thing that is appointed for me.'' n5

n5 Job 23:14.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE Lord, be thou my helper. Psalms 30:10

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