New School Year - New Opportunities for Progress!

MANY students around the world-especially those in the Northern Hemisphere-have already begun a new school year. And more and more adults are joining them as the demands on the job market change and further education is needed. How can everyone get off to a good start? By refusing to accept limitation of any kind! People often feel they have a ''history'' of being poor in mathematics or literature or languages. But none of us need to let this view of ourselves determine what happens next. We can break out of this mental or academic limitation because, in reality, all of us are the spiritual offspring of God, divine Mind. Each of us includes intelligence from God that nothing can ever limit or take away. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ''Intelligence is omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. It is the primal and eternal quality of infinite Mind, of the triune Principle,-Life, Truth, and Love,-named God'' (p. 469). It follows, then, that since Mind is ever present, we can't be cut off from what we need to know. Omniscient means ''all-knowing.'' So the intelligence we get from God isn't limited to helping us with math but useless for literature-or vice versa. And the omnipotence of Mind ensures that no beliefs about limitations-whether self-induced, hereditary, or from some other source-can keep us from making progress. Christ Jesus is the perfect example of how understanding one's relationship to God totally changes one's prospects. As the son of a carpenter, Jesus would not have been expected to hold his own in speaking with the learned men of his time. But when Jesus was twelve, he proved otherwise. After their annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover, his parents headed back home, thinking he was with them. When they discovered he was missing, Luke's Gospel tells us, they went back and found him ''in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers'' (2:46, 47). It is clear from this account that Jesus already understood his relation to God. And when his parents asked him why he had stayed behind, he replied, ''Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?'' (verse 49) Later, when Jesus had become recognized as a teacher, he had plenty of encounters with people who had more education than he did. And a good number of them would have liked to trap him in his words so they could arrest him. Yet the Master taught so skillfully in the Temple that John's Gospel notes, ''The Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?'' (7:15) Through his teachings, Jesus made clear that he expected his followers to experience the same closeness to God and benefits from divine Love that he did. Whether you are young or old, then, educated or just starting out, you can follow in his footsteps. Because you are spiritual, you aren't subject to the limitations of the human brain or genetics or experience. As God's idea, you include pure intelligence right now. Through prayer, you can prove this to be true. Take a little time each day-perhaps when you are walking to school or taking the bus or subway, when you're on your way to work, or brushing your teeth-simply to affirm that you are the spiritual idea of God and thus include unlimited intelligence and wisdom. No history-whether in your academic experience or in your family life-can keep you from expressing these qualities, because your true history is spiritual and rests solely in God. And when you are confronted with something you don't know or understand, turn to divine intelligence for guidance in what to do. Daily practice of these steps will help you no matter where you are-at school, at work, or even at home! And praying in this way will help to ensure that each day will lead to progress and to a deeper trust in God.

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