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A houseparent, a bus, and our God-given capabilities

Today’s column explores the idea that ability is not simply a human attribute that may be in short supply. Ability is unlimited and inherent in all of God’s children.

“He (or she) is so capable!” Have you ever said that about someone, thinking that you’re not?

It can be all too easy to feel inadequate when really we are more than adequate. That happened to an individual who is one of the most widely respected figures in history. The Hebrew leader Moses was at first overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy, yet the Bible relates how he was later able to free the captive Israelites from slavery by following God’s constant guidance. This is just one of many inspiring examples in the Bible that show that God, Spirit, is the perpetual source of all ability.

Though our own spheres of responsibility might not include something so grand, deepening our understanding of our own and others’ relation to God opens the way to see that at every moment we actually have all we need to be able to do what we rightfully need to.

Some years ago I had to learn to drive a school bus as part of my houseparent duties at a boarding school. I deeply doubted at the time that I could do what was necessary to get a commercial driver’s license. This included, among other things, backing up using only the mirrors for reference and passing a test about the mechanics of the bus and the parts under the hood. Not my forte, or so I thought.

For years it has been natural for me to turn to God for answers when faced with obstacles, and this was no exception. I persistently prayed, trusting God to help me in my sincere desire to do my work well. My prayer was to realize that everyone is capable of expressing good and recognizing good in others under all circumstances, because we are God’s dearly loved and cared for children. As His entirely spiritual offspring, or ideas, we reflect His limitless ability, and are therefore fully equipped with all that is right and good – with infinite capabilities.

Praying with these ideas, I found I was able to listen with greater calm for God’s, divine Love’s, care and direction. This freed me from giving in to frustration and discouragement, and my confidence strengthened little by little.

After many hours of study and practice, I passed every necessary test. I even began to enjoy driving a bus! But most important, I gained a deeper sense of God’s presence with me. I could sum up this time with these words from the Living Bible: “For I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power” (Philippians 4:13).

The Christ is always here to help no matter what the demand is. Jesus, through his singular expression of the Christ – the divine nature, which includes all God-given spiritual qualities, faculties, and ideas – proved the power of God’s abundant goodness. He showed forth the ever-available capacity of God by letting his every motive, thought, and act be impelled by divine Love for Love’s glory. From this basis he healed and improved lives everywhere he went.

Receptivity to the Christ awakens within one’s own thought the unrestricted spiritual potential of everyone. It’s empowering. Christian Science shows that all can experience more of their innate capabilities as God’s child. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, brought this Science to humanity through unceasingly leaning on God to guide her. In her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she wrote, “The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love. Jesus demonstrated the inability of corporeality, as well as the infinite ability of Spirit, thus helping erring human sense to flee from its own convictions and seek safety in divine Science” (p. 494).

We can fulfill our activities joyfully and efficaciously because this is what Love causes us to do. Dark thoughts of anxiety and failure vanish in the light of this spiritual fact. Glimpsing it can even impel us to tackle a new demand with vigor and expectancy.

Turning to God in prayer and feeling His loving embrace of our worth enables us to look beyond accepting capability as simply a human attribute that may be in short supply. We feel God lifting us to know that ability is something we all possess without limitation as expressions of God. It encourages ourselves and others to move forward with whatever is ours to do.

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