Of Giants and Dwarfs
`THERE! Finished! And in record time," I thought to myself, as I rested my saw and brushed the sawdust from my jeans. I'd just completed framing a long and complex interior wall for a house. Boy, was I proud! Later, a veteran carpenter--a friend and mentor--ran his grizzled, gnarled fingers over about a dozen little mistakes I'd made in setting my ``record." He looked over at me, his eyes twinkling. ``Doesn't take much to be a dwarf at anything! he said. ``To be a giant in this business takes careful thi nking and loving hands!" He was challenging me to do better work.
Of course, being a giant--or dwarf--the way my friend meant has nothing to do with physical stature. He was urging me to have a grand mental approach to the work rather than a tight, hurried one. And since then I've extended the image to having a grand and expanding view of ourselves rather than a smallish one. The Bible presents a solid basis for this when it describes God, divine Mind, as creating ``man in his own image." Throughout the Bible, the word perfect is used in describing God. God's work, His
way, His law, His knowledge--all are perfect. And Christ Jesus' counsel to us is recorded in Matthew's Gospel: ``Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
God is divine Spirit, and His perfection is not in material terms--it is in spiritual terms. But this spiritual perfection is tangible and real. It can be felt and seen in ways that make a real difference in our daily lives. Why is this? Because God made man as His spiritual image and likeness; and the understanding of man's spiritual perfection has a transforming effect on human character.
The life of Christ Jesus provides unquestionably the best example of how understanding man's spiritual nature changes our lives. The Master's healing works illustrate the effect of knowing and demonstrating what is true and good and right about man. Such an understanding made him a spiritual teacher and healer. He was indeed a giant at what he did.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of the Christian Science Church, catches the rich spirit of Christ Jesus' grandeur when she writes of him in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Through the magnitude of his human life, he demonstrated the divine Life. Out of the amplitude of his pure affection, he defined Love. With the affluence of Truth, he vanquished error."
Of course, there are no easy shortcuts in learning to be giants in what we do. Still, a few things are certain. We need a grand thought of who we are--a thought whose model is found in this perfect man that Christ Jesus presented. And we need a solid understanding of our own God-given worth--worth that we have because God made us. Hand in hand with our intrinsic spiritual worth is the conviction that we have a God-inspired and God-directed contribution to make through our work, whatever it may be. Lastly , to demonstrate man's spiritual stature, we need to love serving God and man. It is only love that can inspire the necessary energy and self-discipline for us to learn how to do our work better. Thinking of ourselves in terms of the grand way in which God creates man is not headiness or ego. When it gives glory to God it actually bolsters humility, strength of purpose, and resolve.
Making God's grandeur the cornerstone of our lives begins and continues with our seeking out the truth of God and man as the Bible presents it. We must be willing to allow this truth to strip us of habits of wrong thinking that would mask this heavenly grandeur. This practice, bit by bit, allows us to put off small-mindedness and to reflect the Mind of Christ in our lives.