Finding and living up to our true potential

What if your academic grades aren’t all that you would want them to be? Today’s contributor was told he wasn’t equipped to succeed at school. He shares spiritual ideas that changed his perception of his potential, enabling him to successfully complete a bachelor’s as well as a master’s degree.

For various reasons, including the closure of German schools after World War II until such time as teachers could be “de-Nazified” or replaced, growing up in post-war Germany I did not have any serious and systematic schooling until I was over 9 years of age. As a result, I received consistently poor grades throughout my schooling thereafter and had a major lack of self-confidence. An educational psychologist, by whom I was evaluated at the request of the headmaster of my English boarding school, concluded that any expectation of my gaining a university education was totally unrealistic; successful completion of my high school education was in fact seriously doubted.

I ended up meeting, at a Christian Science church service, an American university professor who was teaching in Germany on a Fulbright Fellowship. This professor wanted to help me. Despite my disastrous high school record, I ended up enrolling in the university where he taught in the United States.

My first-year university grades proved discouraging, but throughout my life my family had relied on Christian Science, despite the fact that it was forbidden by the Nazi regime, and we had experienced many instances of healing and needs being met through prayer. It was at this time, in university, that I gained a serious interest in understanding and relying on Christian Science myself rather than depending on the support of my parents.

Under the guidance of the professor – who was to become my Sunday school teacher – I began to see myself as more than a struggling student trying to master academics. Christian Science explains that each of us, created in God’s image, is wholly spiritual and expresses the infinite qualities of our ever-loving divine Father-Mother, God. So our true nature is the spiritual expression and manifestation of the limitless intelligence and wisdom of God, divine Mind.

As I increasingly gained this understanding of my true, spiritual nature, it was evidenced in my experience. I regularly made the dean’s list and received other academic awards. I also completed my bachelor’s degree requirements in less than the allotted four years, permitting me to start and complete a master’s degree in my chosen discipline.

The comprehensive examination for the master’s degree provided another opportunity to rely on the divine Mind’s guidance. I was dismayed to find that although the examination consisted of four questions, I was only prepared to answer the first one.

I focused on answering that question to the best of my ability. Not knowing what to write for the three additional questions, I silently affirmed the presence of the divine Mind and acknowledged that I, as an expression of this one Mind, reflected infinite dominion – in other words, that God provides us with the ideas and inspiration to do what we rightfully need to.

As I prayed, the ideas flowed, and I busily wrote them on the exam paper. To this day, I am not sure exactly what I wrote; however, weeks later when the exam results were published, I had passed with flying colors. In fact, the grades I received on the final three questions were better than the grade I received on the first question!

No one is a lost cause when it comes to living up to the God-given potential we all have. Day by day, each of us can strive to feel and express more fully the intelligence and wisdom of God, limitless Mind, in our lives.

Adapted from a testimony published in the Feb. 2019 issue of The Christian Science Journal.

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