© 2011-2023 Michelle Boccanfuso Nanouche, CSB. All rights reserved. Pages updated 2 December, 2022.
I was out on an early morning run. It was a tough one. I was huffing and puffing heavily, when I usually run with great ease. And I watched as my thought lapsed into a familiar pattern …
1) to blame myself or my training for a difficult run, “What did I do wrong?”
2) to start recalculating my training to avoid future bad runs. “What do I need to change or avoid the next time?”
Then I realized that running, like all activity, is more than just a physical event. Life and its action aren’t brain, bone, muscle, and lung function. Life is God, omnipresent, powerful vitality. Life is expressed throughout God’s creation in the joy of being and doing. Running is an outlet, an outward expression of this joy.
I was measuring my success as a runner by whether I was having an easy or a tough day. If it was easy, I attributed that to good training. If difficult, I must have been doing something wrong.
The fact is, as a reflection of divine Life, I am a good runner – a full reflection of the vitality of divine Life – even if I don’t ever put my running shoes on. And so are you. But the joy of being an expression of Life impels us to demonstrate that joy and get up and move.
Tough days, whether in running or any other aspect of daily experience, aren’t a statement about one’s goodness. The degree of difficulty in doing something doesn’t tell us anything about divine Life. Tough days, like tough runs, simply reflect the general resistance on any given day to the fact that the God is Life and Life is Spirit and is reflected spiritually – not in matter. In running, for example, tough days are about resistance, not about the effectiveness (or goodness) of the runner. In other words, resistance (any backward, downward, material drag) is not personal.
When meeting resistance, we can ask ourselves - Am I seeing myself as a a work in progress, as a mortal progressing towards spirituality? Or am I Spirit’s full reflection now, hence already spiritual? Because God’s children reflect God who is Spirit, the heat of resistance to our present spirituality isn’t personal. But it is our work to master that resistance through the understanding of what it means to be God’s reflection, on any given day.
The true and simple theology of Christ is that we are spiritual and perfect as God himself is Spirit and perfect. And we are capable of expressing our spirituality, with the freedom and vitality it includes, every single day. Christ Jesus set the standard of how to properly identify ourselves as God’s image or reflection, when he said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
In fact, God’s creation reflects perfect Life every moment. Pain, discomfort or fear on any given day, are simply material resistance to that fact. It isn’t personal. The resistance isn’t yours or mine. But we do have to take up the case. Our job is to keep the focus on the real Life we are living - the joy and harmony and eternity that is being expressed in us right now.
Mary Baker Eddy explained, "Controlled by divine intelligence, man is harmonious and eternal." (Science and Health, 184)
That isn’t something we have to make happen. We are already there. This is our spiritual foundation and starting point in prayer – perfect God and perfect man.
It will be tested. But, so what? It isn’t personal. Challenges are just momentary resistance - a case to be treated and released.
We can do all things through Christ – through the understanding Christ Jesus gave of God as perfect Life, divine Spirit, and harmonious Mind. This Christ is revealing our perfection, our natural divine intelligence, which is the real controller. The Christ is telling us that we are each God’s child, harmonious and eternal – now and always.
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I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no