Persistence. Diligence. Determination. Tenacity. Resilence. Faith. All of those and more went into the amazing Boston Red Sox victories over the New York Yankees and then over the St. Louis Cardinals to give them their first World Series win since 1918.
For the Red Sox it was especially sweet because for decades they have repeatedly tried and failed to beat the Yankees when it really counted. Especially disappointing for many was last year's heartbreaking loss in the seventh game.
Just when we felt it was all over, it wasn't. The Red Sox didn't give up; they didn't succumb to all the talk of a curse; they didn't get stuck in the voice of the past that said, "You can't succeed now because you haven't before."
What gives anyone the ability to break with the past? A willingness to let go of past mistakes, to stop fixating on all the reasons that contributed to defeat, is a start. Most of all, we need to focus on why we have what it takes to move forward.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper and discovered Christian Science, wrote: "We must look where we would walk, and we must act as possessing all power from Him [God] in whom we have our being" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," page 264).
We can focus on moving in the right direction and know that God is giving us what we need to progress. If we need more courage, strength, clarity, discernment, love, patience, persistence, then we can affirm the spiritual fact that God, our Creator, is expressing those qualities in us, no matter how it looks at the moment. God, Spirit, created each one of us in His image and likeness, to express Him, and that's our foundation for knowing that we can be ourselves and move forward.
We're not on our own trying desperately to progress; we're at one with God. And He shows us that going forward depends on being willing to spend more time acknowledging His power and grace, and less time dwelling on our own meager efforts. The Bible says: "For it is God who is at work within you, giving you the will and the power to achieve his purpose" (Phil. 2:13, J.B. Phillips).
God's purpose isn't to have a certain baseball team win and another lose. But it is His intention that we all express the fullness of our God-created individuality. And that means we have power to break out of old self-defeating thought patterns that would try to hold us back.
For many years I felt dominated by the desire for certain foods and dissatisfied if I didn't have them. I felt stuck in wrong thoughts and constant cravings. I desperately yearned to be free from this mental and physical bondage, and to lose weight. But I must say that my desire for freedom was even greater than my desire to shed pounds.
I prayed on my own about this issue, and I also called a Christian Science practitioner to pray with me for healing. More and more I began to see that my satisfaction comes from God, from listening to Him and obeying His messages, and not from food. God told me that I was loved and that I didn't need to turn to anything else for joy or contentment. My real desire was to feel and act with the dominion the Bible says God gave to each of us (see Gen. 1:26).
One of the hardest challenges was believing that I could change - that I could think and act differently from the way I had in the past. I needed to realize that I wasn't locked in to repeating the same mistakes. To do this I had to consciously let go of the past and understand my God-given nature as His child - that I reflect God's strength, satisfaction, and peace, and that I am willing to change.
The turning point came when I saw that I had to hate the old ways, the old thoughts and habits so much that I was willing to turn from them and abandon them. I thought of how the Bible describes Jesus: "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity" (Heb. 1:9).
I knew that it was time to make a firm commitment to change my eating habits. As I prayed about how to do this, I heard the following message: "The reason you're not stuck in the past, in old ways of doing things, is that Christ, Truth, is moving you forward, giving you the ability to change. You can't do it on your own; but you can do it with Christ, the saving action of God." I embraced this idea; I admitted that I could go forward and that God was giving me the power to change. I felt joyful and confident.
After I committed to going forward, the cravings began to disappear and eventually dissolved entirely. I found that I was satisfied with eating less. And I'm already down two sizes.
The progress we yearn for isn't out of reach. Change happens as we admit what's possible with God.
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider
the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing;
now it shall spring forth;
shall ye not know it?
I will even make a way
in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert.