Education that guarantees success

A Christian Science perspective: On a lifetime of spiritual growth and learning.

Graduation can be an especially happy time for graduates who know what is coming next and are looking forward to it with eagerness and confidence. But graduation can also bring trepidation about one’s future – perhaps because of student loans to repay, having no job pinned down, or some other factor.

In order to find answers to such concerns, it helps to realize that though academic graduations are important milestones, real progress in any situation comes when education is understood as a form of lifetime development. And looking at education as a spiritual pursuit can make all the difference in the world in how a person graduates, if you will, from both the minor and major challenges that come up in every human being’s experience.

My study of Christian Science has helped me understand that no one is, or ever can be, stuck in a thwarted state of educational development. Based on the teachings of the Bible, Christian Science defines God as the divine Mind. This Mind is infinite and is everyone’s true source of intelligence. Because of this, there is nothing to stop anyone from being led to higher and higher mental development and achievement. True education is actually a leading out of the infinite possibilities already within each individual as God’s spiritual image and likeness.

This leading out has certainly been true in my own experience. Having curtailed my college education to marry and raise a family, I often felt at a disadvantage educationally.

But wow! – I can remember the exact moment when I realized I had infinite possibilities within me as God’s image, and that true education was in letting the divine Mind draw out those possibilities. Then, I knew there were no limits to what I could accomplish if I would just be receptive to God’s guidance day by day.

So, without aspiring to any particular goal other than to learn from God each day and to be of service to others, I began writing for the Christian Science periodicals.

Gradually, through the years my writing skills have increased, and – to my surprise – I have been tapped for editorial positions, speaking assignments, and managerial responsibilities for which I have had no formal training. The work has always seemed natural to me, and I remain on a joyous and surprising journey of learning from God what I am capable of as His reflection.

Every challenge we face is an opportunity to graduate to a higher understanding and demonstration of our unlimited spiritual capacities. And this growth serves to expand our opportunities for higher and higher service and productivity in our experience as we move forward spiritually.

Adapted from "Education, graduations, and lifetime milestones," in the May 15 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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