I began to panic.
Exams had never made me panic before, but this time was different. I had been handed my final exam in a college-level machine language programming class, and I became completely consumed by the realization that I had no idea how to answer a critical question that could determine my overall grade in the course. It required me to write a program, so I couldn’t fake my way through it: The programming sequence would be objectively right or wrong.
In other tough situations, I had come to find that no matter where I was or what I was doing, I could turn to God for help. The Bible states, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). This is both a wonderful promise and a divine law of God’s tender care for His beloved children – all of us. I saw my need to lean on that law in this moment.
Another helpful way to think of God is as the one true Mind. Christian Science Discoverer Mary Baker Eddy writes, “God is Mind...” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 311). God’s children are His spiritual reflection, or very expression (see Genesis 1:26, 27). So we all have the natural ability to know what we need to know, to express divine Mind’s infinite capacity. When we turn to God as our “present help,” we find clarity and peace.
As I considered these concepts in that classroom, I also remembered a Bible story. Once, when Christ Jesus was 12 years old, he was talking with learned men in the temple. All were surprised that Jesus comprehended what they said and asked intelligent questions (see Luke 2:46, 47). Years later, after Jesus began his healing ministry, some Jews wondered aloud, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?” Jesus explained, “My teaching ... comes from the one who sent me” (John 7:15, 16, New International Version).
I thought about the utter humility Jesus expressed, how through his total reliance on God’s allness and goodness he was able to discern and heal each need at hand. I felt a deep desire to express a humility that understandingly trusts all to God, and I prayed to better know God as supreme. The effect of my prayer was immediate: I instantly felt completely calm.
With that calm thought, I read the rest of the questions on the test and found I knew how to answer them. So I proceeded through them while listening for inspiration about how to address the programming question. Little by little I completed the exam, including that question. My program incorporated some counterintuitive coding, but I trusted my prayer. I later found out I’d done very well on the exam.
Clearly, schooling and diligent studying are crucial for society’s advancement. And I’ve found that humbly turning to God as the one Mind enriches learning at every level – and in every endeavor.