I have been an endurance athlete for more than 30 years, running and biking, often at world-class level in races, especially duathlons. In 2010, while riding my bicycle on a training ride, I was struck by a motorist from behind. I found myself lying on the roadside with paramedics asking me my name and birthday.
When I next awoke, I was at a hospital being examined by doctors and emergency staff. My wife called a Christian Science practitioner to support me with prayer. Later that night, my wife and two children visited me in the hospital, bringing that week’s Bible Lesson from the Christian Science Quarterly, which they read to me.
When I was more cognizant of the situation, I asked to be released from the hospital, but was told I had multiple fractures in my neck and back, with potential for a stroke. Nevertheless, I declined medical treatment, and in 36 hours I was at home and started the healing process with quiet prayer.
During the next few months, I focused not on fixing a broken body but on more clearly understanding the qualities of God that I reflect as His child. I studied the seven synonyms Mary Baker Eddy uses to define God: Love, Truth, Life, Principle, Soul, Spirit, and Mind (see Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 115). For instance, I knew that divine Love is ever present, protecting everyone at all times, so in reality mishaps can never occur. This meant I had to let go of blame and judgment of the driver and replace them with forgiveness. I thought about perfect Mind, the one cause that creates only good. That helped me see the unreality of complaints, negativity, and fear. I felt confident that I could rely on Principle, which rules all creation, including me, in perfect order. And I affirmed that Life is always upholding and sustaining me in my divine mission to express strength and vibrancy.
As I worked with these synonyms, I made steady progress from lying on the couch to brief walks up and down our block each day with my arm on my wife’s shoulder. Within three months after the accident, I felt well enough to take a trip overseas to my wife’s home country, and to start running again slowly. Every time I went out for any activity, I listened only to God’s angel messages, not to the body. I steadily got stronger, faster, and more flexible in my movements.
One day I heard the angel message, “Get ready to race.” This was pretty startling, since I had not done any duathlons or running races in some years and was mostly just enjoying my family life and chasing my children around. I began to find daily inspirational messages to make a comeback, not just to good health, but to an even stronger state than in the past seven years of recreational training. I began preparing for the Duathlon National Championship in Tucson, Arizona, that was to take place in April 2011, just one year after the accident. This race included 5 kilometers of running, 35 kilometers of biking, and another 5 kilometer run at the end.
I took up the challenge by using all the spiritual truths I was learning to run and bike without limitations, without fear, and to glorify God. This was an opportunity to show others that spiritual healing without drugs or surgery is practical when we turn to God. My goals as I trained were to express agility, strength, stamina, and love for all the other athletes that were striving for excellence. I stood on Principle, took a stand hourly for the power of God, claimed my divine authority, and never gave up.
On race day, I knew I was ready because this was a divine mission, not just a human effort. My focus was on God, and I listened for inspiration to help me express Him in the best way possible for all to see. Not only was my family supporting me through the journey to the race, but the Christian Science practitioner had also been praying for me during the months leading up to the race. It was very clear to me that God was governing me, all the athletes, and the race coordinators that day.
I finished the race eighth in my age group and got the 18th-fastest bike split over the whole 500-person field. This qualified me for a spot on Team USA at the Duathlon World Championships four months later. While I did not have any sponsor lined up for this race, I received an unexpected bequest that enabled me and my family to go together for the event in Gijon, Spain. There I raced to seventh place in my age group.
This experience is proof to me that God takes us not just part way, but all the way, to higher proofs of His care and love. I am so grateful that my family was able to witness my complete healing and return to world-class racing and know that they also have the capability to demonstrate the Christ in spiritual healing. This has made a deep impact on their lives.
I am very grateful for the lessons I learned through this experience. My spiritual understanding of the seven synonyms of God has deepened. Listening, working, and watching with God at the helm, there is nothing we cannot achieve and share with others so that they, too, have the tools to live with divine authority, power, and grace.
Palo Alto, California, US
When I first heard what happened to my dad, I felt as if the world had ended. Then I remembered what I learned in Sunday School, that God is always with us no matter what and God is your cushion when you fall. I prayed and knew that God heals all wounds. When my family and I went to visit my dad in the hospital, I thought, “It doesn’t matter what shape he is in, because underneath that material picture he is really God’s image and likeness.” When I saw my dad, I thought, “Who is this man, and why is error blocking his perfect image?”
When Dad came home, we prayed for him and knew that he is a perfect, healthy idea of God. After many prayers, the picture changed, and he looked perfect too. I am so glad God kept us knowing that my dad is perfect and always will be. Thank you, God!
, age 10
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