Intelligence that’s always present
It was my first year of university in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the exam period was approaching. Things weren’t looking good for me in my financial mathematics and descriptive statistics courses, which were core courses in my program. I understood almost nothing and saw myself as less intelligent compared to other classmates who expressed mastery in these two courses. I did not feel ready for exams at all.
In the Christian Science Sunday School, I had learned different synonyms for God, which express His various attributes. One of my favorites was “Mind.” God being divine Mind, He is the true source of intelligence and understanding.
This seemed very relevant to my situation. I turned to the Bible, where I discovered many stories showing how those who asked God for wisdom and intelligence with an honest heart were cared for. For instance, knowing that governing his kingdom would not be an easy task, King Solomon asked God for wisdom. Moses, sent to Egypt to bring out the children of Israel, complained that he was slow of tongue; there, too, God reassured him that He would help Moses know what he should say. Christ Jesus, the Master, demonstrated that intelligence is a faculty of the always permanent divine Mind, not a human brain: “And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” (John 7:15).
These examples, among many others, helped me understand that each one of us has the ability to express intelligence, whatever the circumstance. Fundamentally, intelligence isn’t something to “acquire.” On the contrary, we express the infinite intelligence that comes from God, divine Mind, the source of all knowledge. Man, God’s spiritual offspring, does not become intelligent by going to school; rather, man is the expression of God’s intelligence. Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Mind is not necessarily dependent upon educational processes. It possesses of itself all beauty and poetry, and the power of expressing them” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 89).
In my prayers I refuted the notion that God’s creation could lack intelligence and understanding, and I claimed my true identity as an idea, or expression, of the divine Mind.
I had enrolled in a study group with other friends, because the only way I could get through exercises was with others’ help. But as I continued to pray, there was noticeable improvement: I was able to solve exercises on my own at home without feeling stuck. The assessments on the horizon no longer felt like an insurmountable problem.
Still, I felt smothered by the notion that my success would depend on a personal ability to retain facts. I humbly acknowledged that in reality intelligence is not about some personal mind taking tests, but the action of the divine Mind expressing itself in its creation. The real “actor” is God. Man, as God’s reflection, is actuated by God. The Bible reassures us about this: “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God” (II Corinthians 3:5). Because our abilities come from God, we are empowered to express intelligence, understanding, and excellence in everything we rightfully need to do.
I refuted the notion that God’s creation could lack intelligence and understanding.
This gave me a lot of relief, and I felt free from the burden of these exams. These beautiful words from a prayer Mrs. Eddy gave us called the “Daily Prayer” provided assurance: “… let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me …” (Manual of The Mother Church, p. 41). Yielding to God makes us a better transparency for the Christ-power in action.
There were other tangible outcomes of my prayers. After taking a financial mathematics oral quiz prior to the final exam, I was among the 39 students in my class of nearly 600 who scored so well as to be excused from taking the exam. As for descriptive statistics, I gained such mastery of the formulas and calculation methods that I was even able to help some friends prepare too.
I now have a better understanding of this passage in Science and Health: “… business men and cultured scholars have found that Christian Science enhances their endurance and mental powers, enlarges their perception of character, gives them acuteness and comprehensiveness and an ability to exceed their ordinary capacity. The human mind, imbued with this spiritual understanding, becomes more elastic, is capable of greater endurance, escapes somewhat from itself, and requires less repose” (p. 128).
Yes, it is so true that yielding to the divine Mind, God, helps us achieve what we need to do with more freedom and excellence.