No barriers to progress
WE were driving fast along the highway. Suddenly, red brake lights went on ahead of us, and we slowed to a halt. For the next three or four miles we crawled along in stop-and-go fashion, wondering what the problem was. Could it be road construction or an accident? Were two lanes merging? At last we reached the place where the cars had begun to brake and stop. Ahead down the highway they accelerated to normal speed. What had been the barrier? Nothing. There was no barrier. The road was completely clear. However, on the highway going in the other direction there was an accident scene. Cars in the lanes going our way had merely slowed and stopped to see what was going on, which caused the extensive delay. Is our progress sometimes held up, even stopped, by some kind of barrier? A particular person or lack of opportunity may appear to block our progress. Sometimes lack of education or some injustice may seem to be holding us up. But in a very profound sense these circumstances aren't the immovable barriers they may appear to be. In fact, there's a standpoint from which we can begin to see that nothing really is blocking our path.
How, then, do we remove what seem to be very solid limitations to our progress? It's tempting to think that if we change our job, get away from a certain individual, maneuver ourselves out of a particular circumstance, then the way will automatically open up for us to go forward. Sadly, all too often a similar circumstance arises a little farther down the road. The best way to go forward is to change our concept of ourselves and our opportunities by gaining a deeper understanding of God and man. Whether the challenge is in school, with a relationship, or in our careers; whether it involves racial prejudice or a severe handicap or financial hardship, a better understanding of man as God's child, made in His likeness, spiritual and unlimited, is a first step in breaking down barriers.
The Psalmist urged a change of concept when he wrote, ``Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.''1 As we open our understanding to see that God governs man's life--that our true being, made in His likeness, is under the perpetual and perfect government of our creator--we begin to realize that man cannot be at the mercy of personal decisions or circumstances. God's law of harmony supersedes any circumstances that would bar progress. The need is to realize this truth, to insist on it understandingly in prayer.
God's law for man is one of continuing development. Progress, then, is strictly between man and his Maker and is not dependent upon the whims of people or a cruel change of circumstances beyond our control. As we come to understand God's law of good, we knock down the barriers that we ourselves--or human thinking in general--have actually raised. In fact, we begin to discern that there aren't, in truth, any barriers. In absolute spiritual fact, nothing can separate man from the good that God is always providing.
Lack of progress sometimes stems from ingratitude. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.''2 Acknowledging the steps we have already made, seeing God's goodness in every beneficial activity, turn us in the right direction for advancement.
Wrong motivation can hold up progress. If merely personal ambition propels us, how can we expect to receive God's blessing? A misguided motive can rob us of genuine satisfaction. It can blind us to opportunities to bless others. And it can sour success. Prayerfully seeking God's direction in our careers, longing to do His will and to express His nature, we find there is no barrier to progress. And we also see that genuine progress for one cannot harm the advancement of another, because God provides impartially for each of His offspring.
Going forward under God's wise direction, we find there are no limits to His blessings for man.
1Psalms 119:18. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 3. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Psalms 37:23