In atmosphere of Love divine,
We live, and move, and breathe;
Though mortal eyes may see it not,
'Tis sense that would deceive.
The mortal sense we must destroy,
If we would bring to light
The wonders of eternal Mind,
Where sense is lost in sight.
For God, immortal Principle,
Is with us everywhere;
He holds us perfect in His love,
And we His image bear.
– Christian Science Hymnal, No. 144
Playing on the nicest field in the world was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
You might think I’m talking about playing soccer, but I’m actually referring to a sport called polocrosse. If you have ever seen or played lacrosse, imagine doing it on horseback on a football-sized field, at high speed (and with a few different rules added)—and you have polocrosse. And Sopris Ranch in Aspen, Colorado, is considered to have the best polocrosse field—people come from all around the world to play on it, and I got to be one of them.
My sister and I had the opportunity to learn to play polocrosse last summer, while we attended a summer camp for Christian Scientists. We practiced and worked at learning the sport every day for about three weeks—and then discovered that we would have the chance to play an exhibition tournament of polocrosse against the Habañeros, a team from New Mexico, and a New South Wales team from Australia. I was also super excited because a lot of my new friends that I’d met earlier that summer at another tournament would be there. I couldn’t wait to play!
The news was extremely exciting, but got better when the summer camp staff, who organized the tournament, told us where it would be: at the best polocrosse field in the world. When we realized what field it was, we were so excited. A polocrosse movie had been filmed on that field, and now we were going to be playing on it!
When the day of the game finally arrived, though, I wasn’t feeling well. I was having a hard time breathing, and the Colorado heat seemed to be making things worse. I had also had a lot of trouble sleeping the last few nights before the tournament. But I didn’t want to give in to any thoughts that I couldn’t achieve my full potential, so I didn’t back down from playing in the game.
My mom, a Christian Science practitioner, happened to be with us on the trip, and she and I prayed together before the tournament began. One of the thoughts we worked with was that I lived, and moved, and had my being in a totally spiritual environment (see Acts 17:28), which was always filled, inspired, and motived by divine Love. I knew that God, Love, was always causing me to be my best.
My sister was also a big support. Throughout the day she would remind me that, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). Since I felt a little bit weak and disoriented at first, it was really helpful to realize that I already had the strength, through God, to express Him freely and completely, and to do all the things I needed to do. During the course of the day, I had to thrust a 30-pound saddle on and off the back of my horse several times as part of tacking up for the different matches, but as I clung to these spiritual ideas, the weakness and breathing trouble began to disappear.
I already had the strength, through God, to express Him freely and completely.
At one point later in the day, when I really felt like giving up, I thought about how much good my horse expressed. In a way she and I had the same sassy attitude, and I knew that she loves polocrosse as much as I do. My mom reminded me that God is All-in-all, and that God’s ideas are always fully aware of His presence. So just as my horse couldn’t express less than all of God’s goodness, neither could I. This concept was really comforting, and I found I was able to breathe freely and feel strong during the afternoon. We had many great chuckkas (or matches, in soccer terms), together that weekend.
I was grateful to be at summer camp, and for the nonstop love and inspiration I felt there. Thanks to prayer, I was able not only to keep going throughout the day, but to persistently express freedom and joy and my passion for polocrosse.
At the end of the tournament’s awards ceremony, I was awarded a beautiful silver belt buckle for my determination and enthusiasm for polocrosse. It was the best award I’ve ever gotten—not only because it was a recognition of how much polocrosse really matters to me in my life, but because it was also a celebration of the healing I experienced.
Clara Oyer is a freshman in high school at The Principia in St. Louis, Missouri. Besides polocrosse, she loves to play soccer and spend time with her family.
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