What does it mean to look Science fairly in the face? It means giving up a sense of material existence and dropping what you think you know about yourself and the life you are living. I found that it takes a conscious effort to disregard the material evidence.
In this particular case, I had wanted to obtain the highest credentials in my field, an achievement that would require extensive study and passing particularly hard exam. Some people asked why I wanted the certification. Wasn’t I satisfied that I had gotten my college degree after the age of 50? Why did I need more credentials when I would be retiring in a few years? My children intimated that it was wonderful that a woman of my age was so full of energy! That is the subtly of mortal mind. It tries to present its sense of what you ought to be to everyone else, and then perhaps you will believe it.
I needed to be awake to the mental suggestion that I should accept a sense of limitation—that I should have more decorum at my age and not be so enthusiastic! But as a student of Christian Science, I am learning to push past the material picture into the realm of the real. If I believed for an instant that I could be separate from God, then I would buy into the mortal belief of limitation and mortality. To me Mrs. Eddy’s statement applies to all phases of life: “Good never enters into evil, the unlimited into the limited, the eternal into the temporal, nor the immortal into mortality” (S&H 336:4).
I didn’t listen to the naysayers and pursued the certification, which involved a year of study, study, study every day. When I received the Association study notes, I wondered in which part of the day I was going to squeeze them in. But the sense came, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.” While I studied the citations and Paths of Pioneer Christian Scientists, I perceived a spiritual awakening, a lifting of thought. This Association citations was particularly helpful: “Godliness or Christianity is a human necessity: man cannot live without it; he has no intelligence, health, hope, nor happiness without godliness” (‘01 34:26–28).
My studying of the certification materials increased, as did my spiritual work for Association. I loved the Association meeting and truly felt that the address had helped me look Science fairly in the face. I vowed that I would hold those wonderful ideas with me, that I would not fall victim to creeping material thoughts. Many a morning I was on bended knee, trusting for daily direction. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5, 6).
As the testing drew nearer, I worked with a Christian Science practitioner to know that there is only one Mind, not a bunch of separate, limited minds trying to learn case law, compliance, and government rules. While taking the five-hour test, I used the key ideas presented by the practitioner. Yes, I was successful, with super grades for a test that has pass rate of only 46%.
As a result of my expanded credentials, the institution where I work promoted me to Director. While it is certainly worthwhile to have attained a new position where all my studying is being put to good use, it is the spiritual growth that has been extraordinary, pushing me beyond what the material senses say is so!
Not only have I been blessed, but others who witnessed my success have felt impelled to go beyond what they think they can achieve. Further, I am beginning my graduate work with the knowledge that no divine idea has a limited shelf life!