The big minute

I was running to catch the six o'clock commuter train. There wouldn't be another one for an hour. When I finally reached the station and looked at my watch, however, I gave up. One minute to six, and the platform for my train was the farthest one away. I'd never make it.

Then I looked up at the enormous station clock. It also said one minute to six - but what a huge minute! Much bigger than the tiny one on my watch! So I started to run again, and made my train just as the conductor was closing the doors.

I've thought about that big minute many times since, when I've felt thwarted by not enough time or money or ability. How often we limit ourselves and don't start a project because we believe we'll fail. Frequently the obstruction masquerades as human logic. (It was certainly ''logical'' to give up on catching that train.) But we can gain dominion over material constraints as we accept the freeing spiritual fact, brought out in the Bible, that we are the children of God, His image and likeness, not struggling, frustrated mortals.

The Bible is full of inspiring accounts of people who refused to be limited by appearances, by the material evidence before them, no matter how daunting it seemed. For example, God told Elijah to go to Zarephath where a widow would feed him. But when he got there, and asked the widow for a morsel of bread, she told him she couldn't possibly do as he asked because she herself had so little. ''As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.''

But Elijah encouraged her to exchange her poverty-stricken attitude for one of grace and generosity. He told her to go ahead and make something for herself and her son, but to first make him a cake. ''For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail . . . . And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he , and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.'' n1

n1 See I Kings 17:8-16.

We can learn from the Bible that man, as God's very likeness, is whole and complete, never lacking any needed thing. Knowing this truth, realizing it in the quietness of prayer, we come to see that our supply, courage, strength, and ability are always commensurate with whatever demands are made upon them.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ''Science reveals the possibility of achieving all good, and sets mortals at work to discover what God has already done; but distrust of one's ability to gain the goodness desired and to bring out better and higher results, often hampers the trial of one's wings and ensures failure at the outset.'' n2

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 260.

How reassuring it is to discern our real self as God's spiritual image and thus see our ability as derived from Him! To dwell on the mistaken concept of man as a limited mortal, with such poor prospects of success that it's useless even to try, is not the route to dominion and freedom.

Throughout his ministry Christ Jesus encouraged his disciples and those who sought healing to trust their loving Father. Not even he could do anything of himself, he told them, but he could and did do the works that his Father did. n3 And they could, too.

n3 See John 5:19.

''Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom,'' n4 Jesus said. We never need to let a small minute stop us. We can exchange it for a big one, keep going, and be victorious!

n4 Luke 12:32.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. Psalms 145:17-19

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