You: more than you appear to be!

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

What do the following have in common: a Haitian poet, a Chinese student, a Lebanese musician, an English businessman, and a preacher from the Dominican Republic?

They all drive taxis in Boston. They also have in common the fact that at one time or another they've driven me somewhere - and have divulged details of their lives that go beyond the basic requirements of taxiing.

It would have been easy to sit in their cabs, not to talk with them, and to have left with no deeper an impression of them than that they were drivers. But that's just the tip of the iceberg of who they were and are - a limited estimation of their talents and their lives.

Another thing those drivers have in common is something they share with every other citizen of the world. They, we, all, are the children of God.

That means something, especially if a person struggles with limitation, with labeling, with the judgment of others. We are more than we appear to be. Someone once told me, "Be infinitely more than you appear to be." That is, realize yourself to be God's child - spiritual and whole, made in His/Her "image" and "likeness," as Genesis says.

We may really want to be more than we appear to be, especially if we're disappointed with ourselves, our homes, our careers, our looks, our romantic relationships (or lack of them), our financial or social status. If this describes you, take heart. You are infinitely more than you appear to be - especially as you may appear to yourself, in your own thinking. You are, according to the Bible, that image and likeness of God. You are, according to what Christ Jesus said, loved and cared for. Jesus healed people by knowing these spiritual facts to be true about them. And the experience of so many people in this day and age has been that glimpsing these truths to be valid - now - brings practical change for the better into their lives.

Even if things seem to be going really great, we can pause and consider the significance of what it means to be God's child. It means so much more than having the presumed ingredients of human happiness neatly in place. It means living in the presence of divine Love, of God, and seeing this as being everyone else's true abode, too. It means gaining an understanding and expression of who we truly are - spiritual, joyful, healthy, pure. Realizing these as being realities for us amounts to more than the human happiness people think they want, or have. God's blessings, available to all through prayer, bring into life whatever is necessary to meet our needs.

I've found this to be so. At different times in my past, I was a voluntary worker (getting just pocket money), an underemployed freelancer, and a housekeeper in a nursing home. When people asked me "What do you do?" I didn't have an impressive label to offer. At times I was tempted to feel awkward and embarrassed. Other times I felt rebellious and almost delighted in having no easy answer to give anyone.

But eventually I came to discover that I have a spiritual identity and purpose, and I glimpsed how that is truly more than being royalty, more than fame, more than riches. Then my attitude changed. I no longer felt embarrassed or proud concerning my lack of status. Instead I prayed to know how I could be of practical help to others. Those prayers have been answered with a fulfilling career serving a worthy cause that I feel helps many people.

One final thing those cab drivers have in common is that they all talked with me about spirituality. That makes me think of a statement I love that says, "Man, made in His likeness, possesses and reflects God's dominion over all the earth" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, pg. 516). That's all men, women, and children. That's you! You are infinitely more than you appear to be.

You can read other articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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