Back to school with a fresh start

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

When I was in high school, I was a relatively good student, but math was my weakest subject. Still, I managed to progress through algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.

In my senior year, however, I found myself taking Advanced Placement calculus. Like all AP courses, this class would culminate in a major standardized exam. If you did well on the exam, you could sometimes get college credit for it. I really wanted to do well.

Unfortunately, I often felt completely overwhelmed and incompetent in this class. I studied hard and usually managed to memorize what was needed for each test, but it was rote learning; I didn't understand the underlying concepts.

As the year progressed, I realized the approaching exam was a good opportunity to put into practice what I'd been learning in my Christian Science Sunday School class about God as divine Mind.

Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, often referred to God as Mind. Because there is only one God, there also must be only one Mind, not many separate mortal minds with varying levels of intelligence. Intelligence, in fact, is a quality of Mind.

In my prayers before the test, I mentally affirmed that God is the source of my intelligence. I reasoned that divine Mind is supremely intelligent, knowledgeable, and capable. So I, as the expression of Mind, must also be intelligent and knowledgeable and capable. I knew I could demonstrate the intelligence of Mind by listening for right ideas from God and acting on them. God's good thoughts are flowing to us 24/7; we need only to tune in and listen to them.

On test day, I felt prepared. I had studied, and I also knew that since God is ever present, He was with me in the classroom and was giving me the ideas I needed. As the test started, I silently reaffirmed that I am the expression of God as Mind and that therefore I am intelligent and capable.

When I got stumped on a problem – which happened frequently – I would stop and silently talk to God. I would affirm that I was His expression, and then listen for right ideas. And the right ideas came.

I had to wait all summer for the test results. But when they arrived, I was ecstatic. The test was graded on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best. I got a 5! In fact, I was one of only two students, out of about 40, who had received a 5. That score earned me enough college math credits that I never had to take math again.

Even more important, I gained a completely new view of God as the source of my intelligence. I went through college and graduate school with a newfound confidence in my innate ability to express the divine Mind, and as a result I excelled at my studies.

We all express the divine Mind's intelligence, and we can all hear the right thoughts of Mind whenever we need them. That fact can help any student – or parent – start off the school year with confidence and joy.

Moses said unto the Lord,
O my Lord, I am not eloquent,
neither heretofore, nor since
thou hast spoken
unto thy servant:
but I am slow of speech,
and of a slow tongue.
And the Lord said unto him,
Who hath made man's mouth?
... Have not I the Lord?
Now therefore go,
and I will be with thy mouth,
and teach thee
what thou shalt say.
Exodus 4:10-12

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