What I learned about true balance
I confidently stepped onto the highest balance beam, four or five feet above the forest floor. My husband and I were early that morning for our class in the ropes course that was rigged 40 feet up into the trees. I was passing time by walking on a series of rustic balance beams, each one higher than the last.
This happened years ago when my now-grown daughters and their cousins were staying at a Christian Science camp for the first time. We all had piled into our van and trekked one thousand miles to the camp, which was in the mountains of Colorado.
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“Wow—look how high I am! Whoa—look how high I am!” And with that last thought I wobbled and then tumbled off the balance beam.
I twisted my knee when landing and immediately thought, “So this is how a football player feels when he twists a knee.” Not a very Christianly scientific response! I did, however, recognize the error of my thought and the mistake of accepting the material evidence that I’d had an accident. I affirmed what Mary Baker Eddy says in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God’s unerring direction and thus bring out harmony” (p. 424).
This harmony is established from what the Bible refers to as “the beginning,” when God created all the glories of creation. In Genesis 1, verse 31, we read: “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Everything. This stands in stark opposition to the thought that evil is real or is in some sense necessary to balance good. It shows that each of us, created in God’s, Spirit’s, image, is spiritual and eternally perfect.
Does God really send sickness or other trouble so that we can learn of His power? I choose to believe Genesis, that He made everything “very good,” spiritual and perfect. Through the study of the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s writings on healing and putting those concepts into practice, we are able to prove that evil has neither power nor place. It has no substance, no weight. It is not from God.
Balance comes from the infinite variety of Soul, the expression of beauty and diversity.
Holding to the spiritual truths that I had learned in Christian Science, I was able to get up and sit comfortably while I enjoyed watching my husband go through the ropes course. Later, I sat in the sun on a deck and read the Christian Science Bible Lesson for that week. I prayed to understand that since God does not know about accidents, I couldn’t either. I worked to know that matter could not hurt me, because my true being wasn’t in matter. I was comfortable while sitting, but when walking, I had to be careful not to twist my knee.
So if evil or accident doesn’t lend balance to good, what does? True balance does not come from the opposite of good. As we learn in Christian Science, evil is not even real because it is not of God. Balance in a spiritual sense is being centered firmly in the one divine Principle and surrounded by divine Love—supported by divine law as well as embraced by God’s ever-present love for His creation. Balance comes from the infinite variety of Soul, the expression of beauty and diversity. True balance becomes evident in our human experience through spiritual growth that restores our spiritual sense of our relation to God and of His presence in our lives.
During the long road trip back home, I kept my thought centered on my spirituality, denying that matter could make me uncomfortable. Over all, the trip went smoothly. When I returned to work, I was still limping, but I managed to do all that was required of me. I wore pants instead of skirts to avoid calling attention to my knee.
After I had been back at work for about a week, my manager remarked to me that I should have my knee looked at by a doctor to prevent permanent damage. His comment shocked me enough to make me examine more closely what was going on in my thought. I knew that my understanding of Christian Science could heal me, as it had many times before. I reaffirmed that I was a complete and uninjured child of God. I prayed more deeply to know that I was always safe—never unbalanced. Trusting God is not a tightrope act. It is a solid, sure path to healing.
Trusting God is not a tightrope act. It is a solid, sure path to healing.
This prayer is more than just happy wishes and a stoic outlook. And so I turned wholeheartedly to God. I realized I’d been expecting a healing—pretty soon. This wasn’t good enough! Instead of just getting by and waiting, I needed to focus my prayer on the unchanging spiritual fact that I was already perfect. I was actually grateful for the wake-up call from my manager.
From that moment I refused to accept the mistaken notion that I could have been injured. I knew that I was God’s idea, entirely free, full of grace. An idea is not encumbered by matter. It is clearly spiritual, and so am I. I didn’t pray to let God know what had happened or what He should do about it. I prayed to reaffirm what is spiritually true and understand that I, as an idea of God, imaged forth God’s perfection. I prayed using the powerful “scientific statement of being” in Science and Health. The first part of that statement is: “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all” (p. 468).
Within days, the knee was back to normal, and I don’t even recall which knee was injured. It was never an issue after that wake-up call when my manager spoke to me at work over 30 years ago. I no longer had to be careful walking to be sure that I remained balanced and centered.
As I think about that healing, I realize that I was not just healed of the fall from the balance beam; I also learned more about real balance, which comes from standing guard over my thought, from being sure that Truth is the basis of my thinking. Although it is wonderful to be inspired by a healing of a discordant condition, the inspiration and spiritual growth do not come from the discord. They come with the ongoing revelation of what God is and who I am as God’s beloved child. I do not have to take the bad with the good. Balance is the steady welcoming of new ideas while holding dear the truth.
Science and Health declares, “God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis” (p. 258). I don’t have to worry that the beam I walk on is too narrow or too high. My freedom rests on the boundless base of God’s love and His law—forever firm and knowable.