Needed: Less “I” and more God

It occurred to me not to place so much reliance upon what I regarded as “my” expertise or preparation.

Originally published for the Christian Science Sentinel online on December 1, 2022

Sometimes it’s tempting to make a distinction between things we need God’s help for, and things we’re good at and can handle on our own. But I’ve seen how that distinction is completely false. Whatever abilities or knowledge we appear to possess can’t compare to the infinite capacities possessed by God, omniscient Mind, who created all and knows all. The point is made very succinctly by Mary Baker Eddy in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, where she writes, “Attempt nothing without God’s help” (p. 197).

I learned this lesson in an interesting way some years ago, when I was asked to participate in a two-day conference which would be attended by quite a large number of people. Each afternoon, the conference was to break up into smaller groups focused on specific topics. My task was to give a short talk to one of those smaller groups and then lead a discussion. I was familiar with the topic and felt well prepared. But when the time came to break into smaller groups, I was surrounded by a dozen empty chairs. The other groups each had at least a few people, but mine had no one. 

When the day ended, I slunk away, feeling defeated. I hadn’t even had the chance to be boring—no one had come in the first place! The same format was planned for the next day, and I dreaded another humiliation. As a student of Christian Science, I’ve found that prayer is the most effective approach to any challenge, so it was natural to turn to God for guidance. 

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February 27, 2023

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