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TeenConnect: Trending

Facing down fatigue

From the Christian Science Sentinel - December 12, 2016

From the teen series: Trending - December 12, 2016

TeenConnect: Trending

I knew it was going to be challenging. But I didn’t know it was going to be this challenging. 

The camping trip I was on is a big tradition at my summer camp, and I knew it would mean being pushed in ways I hadn’t been pushed before. I was expecting intense physical labor, coupled with only two to three hours of sleep per night, as we raced to build a series of structures in the woods. But I wasn’t expecting the lack of sleep to bother me so much, and I quickly began feeling extremely tired. 

At first I was worried because it seemed like there was nothing I could do to improve the situation. Lack of sleep is simply a part of the trip, and everyone else was dealing with it as well. But even though I had teammates working all around me, I felt alone … until I realized that I could turn to God. 

In the Christian Science Sunday School I’ve learned that prayer is a way of recognizing our connection to God, and hearing inspired ideas that bring healing. At first, I couldn’t think of any ideas to pray with, but then the words of a hymn came to me: 

A glorious day is dawning,
And o’er the waking earth 
The heralds of the morning 
Are springing into birth. 
In dark and hidden places 
There shines the blessed light; 
The beam of Truth displaces 
The darkness of the night. 

(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 2)

I had everything I needed not simply to endure, but to feel strong and have success, because God was my source of strength.

Since it was currently the middle of the night, I related these lines to the daylight that would come in a few hours, and realized that I could see that light as a good thing, not more hours that I had to endure. Thinking more spiritually, I considered the idea that the true sense of light only brings goodness, because it is God-given according to the Genesis 1 creation story. I have since studied the first chapter of Genesis more deeply, along with the related chapter, ‘Genesis,’ in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, and I’ve learned that the light in Genesis 1:4 is a representation of Spirit, of one God, one creator, and His goodness, in contrast to the way darkness represents evil and evil thinking. While I didn’t make these connections at the time, considering the light as “the beam of Truth” (the spiritual facts of God’s creation) that “displaces the darkness of the night” (any fear, doubt, or suggestions of fatigue in my thoughts) was very helpful.

As I continued to pray, another passage I love from Science and Health kept coming to thought: “Whatever it is your duty to do, you can do without harm to yourself” (p. 385). I was reassured by this thought, knowing that since this was my current duty, I had everything I needed not simply to endure, but to feel strong and have success, because God was my source of strength, and all my capabilities, and God is infinite.

Having never had an instantaneous healing before, I was taken aback by how quickly my exhaustion disappeared with this realization. I was able to continue with my work all day and throughout the rest of the trip without any problems. 

I am grateful for this healing, because before I began praying, the problem seemed insurmountable and it felt like there was nothing I could do to fix it. But through prayer, I was able to completely overcome fatigue during my trip. Turning to God is effective.

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