LAST summer I moved from a large city on the East Coast to my former home in the Southwest. Driving from a densely settled, forested part of the country, through the farmlands, to the deserts, plateaus, and rangelands of the western states offered quite a contrast. I had missed wide-open spaces so much. But, as I thought about it, I really hadn't been fair. There were ways to see the broad panorama in the East. The same expansive sky could be seen there too -- at the shore, on the hilltops, from the tops of buildings. But I hadn't sought it out very much. Instead I had just let the trees and buildings and people close me in.
How often do we feel closed in? How often do we limit our view of life and close ourselves in with an endless stream of ``I can'ts''?
And yet, the ``I can'' world is right there -- right where we seem most constricted. Christ Jesus showed us the panorama of dominion that is ours as God's child. To the leper's plea ``If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean,'' Jesus responded, ``I will; be thou clean.''1 His career was one of ``I can'' and ``I will.'' When he sent out the seventy disciples, they returned and said, ``Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.'' And Jesus answered them by saying they had power ``over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.''2
Christian Science shows us that the Christ-power is still with us today -- the healing, regenerating power that expresses our God-derived dominion as His wholly spiritual, blessed child.
Christian Science brings to bear on human thought and life the power of Christ, which changes our view of who we are and what we can do. It reveals man's spirituality, which not only helps us overcome fears and inadequacies but naturally leads us even to the healing of sickness. Mary Baker Eddy3 writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies....The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind.''4
The healing brought about through this Science is not a question of mind over matter or mere positive thinking or some personal power we ourselves have. Jesus didn't indicate that his followers could do all things by and of themselves but that they could do all things through his name and nature. As Paul says, ``I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.''5 The ability to say ``I can'' comes as we yield to God, the divine Mind.
What does this yielding do for a person feeling closed in by physical and mental limitations? Well, I can answer best by telling what it has done for me. I was perhaps the biggest ``I can't'' person there could possibly be when I was growing up. I was afraid of heights, afraid of thedark, afraid of being alone, afraid of dying, afraid of just about everything. These fears not only haunted me but kept me from doing a lot of things. I'm grateful I didn't stay in that sad state.
What I learned in the Christian Science Sunday School began to break down these limitations, and during my high-school and college years I began to study the Bible and Science and Health on my own. As time went on I felt the wonderful love of God and His Christ.
When I gained a clearer view of the true heritage Christ Jesus came to show mankind -- the man made in the image and likeness of God, Spirit -- I was able to demonstrate more and more dominion in my life. I got rid of the fears that keptme from doing what I needed and wanted to do.
This doesn't mean, of course, that I've won the whole battle. But I love the glimpses I've had of God's goodness and omnipotence and love. And I'm grateful for all that I've been able to do over the years.
Referring to the true being of each one of us, Mrs. Eddy writes of man: ``His birthright is dominion, not subjection.He is lord of the belief in earth and heaven, -- himself subordinate alone to his Maker.''6
With an understanding of this true identity and a sincere desire to follow the Master in your daily life, you'll find that you can do the things you need to do, and even some of the things you've always wanted to do, through Christ.
1Mark 1:40, 41. 2Luke 10:17, 19. 3The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 4Science and Health, p. 162. 5Philippians 4:13. 6Science and Health, p. 518.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Through God we shall do valiantly. Psalms 60:12