Put to the test

Once while I was in college I became ill the week before final exams. I spent the week in my apartment praying and studying. Every morning I studied the Christian Science Bible Lesson, and then I would study my college textbooks. I was confident I would be ready to handle all my exams—except one, which would include new material the teacher had covered while I was away from class. I was a math major and was taking higher-level math courses that, to me, were incredibly difficult. During this week, I did my best to study what I thought would be on this test.

By the time the week was over, I felt fully recovered and ready for finals. When exams started, all went well until I came to that one class. I still felt nervous and unprepared even though I had conscientiously poured time and effort into learning the material. Before the test, I had a half hour of free time so I read Mary Baker Eddy’s article titled “An Allegory” (see Miscellaneous Writings 18831896, pp. 323–328). This is a beautiful story about the Christ coming to people in all walks of life, and it brings out their varying degrees of receptivity to the call to spiritualize thought and go higher. I had read this story several times the previous week and had been pondering its many ideas. 

While sitting quietly before the test began, worrying that my own intelligence wasn’t enough to take this test, I asked myself if I was receptive to the Christ-message—to the inspiration and guidance that come to us from God. I thought I was, but I must admit, I questioned whether God’s intelligence covered these higher concepts of math. Then I started to laugh at how silly the thought was that something could be too hard for divine intelligence, and my laughter broke through the fear that had engulfed me up to that point. 

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