Have you ever thought you couldn't get ahead because someone or some situation was standing in the way, preventing your progress? Simply waiting for things to change or for opportunities to come your way can take a long time.
Picture this situation, for instance. A herd of bison was ahead of us. One large, shaggy bison stood its territorial guard, smack in the middle of the road. I was second in a long line of cars waiting anxiously for it to move. No, we weren't in the wilderness, but in a county park minutes from the suburbs. The driver of the car ahead of mine seemed paralyzed by fear, believing himself at the mercy of the herd.
I nudged up behind his car, urging the driver to take some action. Finally he steered around the animal and into a ditch to make his escape. Still, the bison stood its ground. I raced my engine for a moment and moved forward with deliberation, tooting my horn to show I meant to drive right on. The bison quickly bolted off the road and down a hill, with the rest of the herd slowly following. I wasn't being brave; I'd seen this scene repeated before. I'd learned what would work quickly and safely.
As in many situations where we seem to be held hostage to some less than perfect circumstance - illness perhaps, or a bad relationship with another person - that situation can be rectified by claiming the right to go forward. And God has given you and me the right to go forward in any situation.
The Bible relates an incident that speaks to this point (see John 5:1-15). At a particular pool of water, Jesus Christ once found a man who had been crippled for thirty-eight years. He lay there helplessly, waiting for someone to help him into what he believed was the pool's healing water. Jesus addressed him, asking if he was willing to be made whole - free to go forward and live a productive life. Jesus healed the man on the spot.
Dummelow's "Commentary on the Holy Bible" suggests this man had lived a life of indulgence: "This miracle may be regarded as a parable illustrating the deadly effects of sin, and the power of the Saviour to deal with the most hopeless cases" (Pg. 783).
Perhaps recognizing for the first time that his improvement rested on his own shoulders, and that he was perfectly free to be whole, as God made him to be, the man arose and picked up the mat he had slept on in a state of invalidism. Perhaps lying on the mat could be seen as symbolic of his former reluctance to take moral responsibility for his life.
Jesus taught the freedom God bestows on us, proving we need never be hostage to a sick body or a sinning inclination. Our heritage as God's sons and daughters is freedom, spiritual freedom, freedom found in God. "Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, has helped many people claim their God-given right to exercise dominion over disease, poverty, and immorality of any kind. It elaborates on the healing law of God, Christian Science. It states: "God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love" (Pg. 106).
We need never be helpless victims of a hostile environment, a dishonest neighbor, an envious co-worker, a limited education, a scary medical prognosis, or someone's violent intentions when we understand our heritage as the sons and daughters of God. We are under God's good laws and good government; He made us in His perfect image and likeness. We are spiritual. He empowers every human endeavor to act in accord with Him - to be good, loving, moral, forgiving, honest. Such endeavors are living prayers that cause us to express health in mind and body.
What did it take to get that bison to move? A degree of fearlessness that was born of experience. On a broader level, familiarity with the nature of God's creation, with His laws of good, recorded in the Bible and fully explained in Science and Health, brings the experience of healing. These books will help you to discern your spiritual freedom, to be as perfect as God created you to be.