Unstick your wheels

The prophet Ezekiel’s vision symbolizes God’s awe-inspiring power and plan operating even in the midst of difficult situations.

Every time I come across a reference to Ezekiel in the Bible, I immediately think of the African American spiritual, “Ezekiel saw the wheel,” and can’t help but joyously sing these words to myself: 

Ezekiel saw the wheel
Way up in the middle of the air.
Ezekiel saw that wheel whirling
Way in the middle of the air. 

This religious folksong has been sung by lots of popular artists over the years, and the words have been tweaked in various ways. What has remained the same is the song’s reference to the prophet Ezekiel’s vision, which symbolized God’s awe-inspiring power and plan operating even in the midst of difficult situations. Briefly, Ezekiel saw “wheels,” which might be interpreted as the spirit of man and living creatures. They started on the ground and were not turning. And then, “when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up” (Ezekiel 1:19).

A wheel, being lifted “way up in the middle of the air” implies to me that it is in and of Spirit, God, and not stuck in limitation or matter. And it’s doing what a wheel is meant to do: turning, and moving forward freely. 

I’m sure all of us have at times felt stuck in situations with our “wheels” either spinning fruitlessly or clogged, completely at a standstill. But as Ezekiel’s vision shows, lifting our thought to God unsticks our wheels—gives us fresh ideas and inspiration to propel us forward in ways we might have never before considered.

Christian Science shows how laws of God are practical in our life experience. When we think of ourselves as physical and material, we experience frustration, resistance, fear, darkness. But when we understand the divine truth that we are purely spiritual—created in the image and likeness of Spirit, God, not of matter—then we are able to experience the fruits of the Spirit: increased light, joy, health, progress. So we can either feel stuck in the muck or be moving forward freely, depending on our understanding of God and our relationship to Spirit as its immortal idea.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, says this about getting unstuck: “It is their materiality that clogs the progress of students . . . . Spirituality is the basis of all true thought and volition” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 156). 

Envisioning Ezekiel’s spinning wheel, “way up in the middle of the air”—not stuck in matter and held back but moving freely in Spirit—has special significance to me. Years ago it opened my thought in a way that led to meeting my husband. 

I was aware that some people enjoy the drama and mind games often associated with dating, but I’d had enough. Years of trying to interpret signals from guys and looking for signs of affection had taken their toll on me. I was frustrated, tired, and dizzy from a perpetual round of roller-coaster relationships. 

In my efforts to move beyond destructive and obsessive thought patterns, I dug deeply into prayer, along with study of the Bible and Mrs. Eddy’s writings. I spent many months working extensively with the spiritual idea of progress, likening it to wheels that keep moving despite circumstances. I prayed daily, and whenever hypnotic thoughts of obsession or hurt overwhelmed me, I’d acknowledge that I was not stuck but was instead constantly moving forward with God. Nothing could impede my progress.

After a while, I had a wake-up call. A good friend called and told me she was engaged. Of course I was thrilled for her, but when I hung up the phone, I was in tears. Trying desperately to advance past feelings of rejection and confusion, I talked to a fatherly, spiritually minded friend. This conversation felt like the result of those months of prayer and study.

My friend intuited the kinds of situations that had made me feel confused and strung-along. He helped me understand that when a man is interested in you, he shows it, and if he doesn’t, you don’t want to be in that kind of relationship anyway. I deserved honesty, directness, and to be treated with the utmost respect. Now this may seem kind of obvious, but this conversation was actually exactly what I needed to hear. It felt like a breakthrough in my search to understand better my relation to God. I now clearly understood these points:

1. God, divine Truth and Love, doesn’t play games. His love for me is clear and direct; I don’t have to read between the lines. I always know how He feels about me. He loves me absolutely, all the time. Therefore, I deserve to have a non-game-playing relationship and should settle for nothing less than that which reflects my relationship with God.

2. Because God, divine Mind, “outlines but is not outlined” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 591), I would be completely open to God’s direction. Previously, I would be so focused on one person that I would ignore other relationship possibilities. Now I vowed that I would not prejudge anyone. I would be more unselfishly friendly and open.

As I grew spiritually, amazing things started to happen. Where previously I had felt like a walking plague, now guys would stop by my desk at work and talk with me. A guy who I felt had ignored me for over three years asked me, out of the blue, to go on a date. And then, around the same time, I met and married a wonderful, loving, straightforward man—who, by the hand of God, had moved internationally and was placed at a desk that was back-to-back with mine at work. In the past, I might not have talked much to him because I would have been too closed off.

So, what had changed? Had my physical appearance changed? Was I talking differently? Had I altered my clothes or hair? No! It was my change of thought. I knew that I didn’t need to chase after a relationship and that I could expect clarity because of the foundational relationship I had with God. Also, my view broadened from narrow to open—less focused on self and more generously expressive of God’s spiritual qualities. All this was the result of consistently turning from the hypnotic pull of a limited, material picture and seeing myself as God’s spiritual idea, completely free and unencumbered. 

The opportunities for growth in grace didn’t stop when I got married. My husband agrees that over the past twenty years, there have been many joys along with navigating some bumpy terrain. But all of this has drawn me closer to God, and we’ve grown as a couple, too. 

So, if you find yourself discouraged, stuck, and going nowhere, try contemplating your purely spiritual and free nature as God’s reflection, not in or of matter or held back. Know with certainty that as God’s loved child, you are guaranteed to keep moving forward, just like those wheels from Ezekiel’s vision. The good results might surprise you.

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