At the Special Olympics in Smuggler's Notch, Vermont, a little girl competing in the one-lap speed-skating race falls on her face at the starting whistle, struggles to her feet, takes a few steps, and falls ag ain. Minutes later, as she approaches the finish line far behind the leaders, her free hand shoots high in a victory salute. She has defeated her handicap. n1
n1 The Christian Science Monitor,m April 3, 1981;
At the University of California in Berkeley, a renowned chemist who has taught, researched, and published since 1913 asks, at 99, "Why should I quit?" n 2 Why, indeed? He has surmounted age.
n2 Oklahoma City Times,m April 6, 1981;
What do the young girl and the venerable professor have in common? By exercising self-forgetfulness and courage, the girl overcame worse handicaps than flesh can fashion -- handicaps of embarassment, discouragement, and withdrawal. Similarly, through intelligence, inquisitiveness, innovation, the man rejected deteriorative disabilities of the spirit more defacing than time can etch on the body -- the creeping corrosion of indifference and disuse.
We too have something in common with the struggling skater and the uncommon chemist. Whatever abilities of the spirit we need to energize our own aspirations and achievements are available to us, and to all. These abilities proceed from God, divine Life, Truth, and Love --the Giver of all good and only good.
Spiritual man made in God's likeness naturally, effortlessly reflects all that is possible to God. In proportion as mortals strive to embody divine qualities, their innate spiritual possibilities take form in concrete achievements.
Christ Jesus' ministry demonstrated the ultimate aim of a Godlike life -- perfection. Neither time nor therapy nor any merely material or human effort could have healed as he did the maimed, the deformed, the lame, the blind, the dumb, the deaf, the insane. What Jesus impressed upon the ages was the eternal, universal availability of the indomitable spirit of Truth, the Christ or true idea of man's sonship with God.
Christ presents the truth of man's flawless wholeness, which precludes disability. Therefore the effect of Christ is never a delayed or delaying action. Christ brings achievement instead of, not in spite of, handicap. Of Jesus' ideal understanding and demonstration of Christ, which all may aspire to emulate, Mary Baker Eddy n3 writes: "He was to prove that the Christ is not subject to material conditions, but is above the reach of human wrath, and is able, through Truth, Life, and Love, to triumph over sin, sickness, death, and the grave." n4
n3 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 49;
We too can prove our God-given exemption from debilitating so-called material conditions, which actually only mirror the state of mortal thought. To whatever degree we may have accepted the suggestions of delusive material sense that man can be less than perfect, we have unwittingly identified ourselves as disabled persons. During this International Year of Disabled Persons, therefore, let us rise to correct this misnomer.
Until we grow spiritually to approach the stature Jesus so naturally maintained, we may seem to achieve gradually, and with great labor. But Christ, Truth, encourages our feeblest desire to resist incapacity. And Christ rewards our strongest struggle to surmount whatever claims of disability we may have accepted as our own. Disability will at length be unmasked as a hoax, hiding unrecognized, unclaimed, unproved ability.
Didn't Jesus promise, "With God all things are possible"? n5 When we strive as earnestly as the young skater, as persistently as the venerable chemist -- and when we strive to follow Jesus' teachings and example -- we will overcome, step by step, the erroneous belief that man could possibly be defective or disabled.
n5 Matthew 19:26.
We can exercise our divinely maintained ability of faith in God. We can progressively understand that good alone is real or enduring. Thus we can assert and encourage others to assert man's God-given dominion over disability.
Thanks to God, we are able. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Whether is easier, to say, Thy sin s be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? Matthew 9:5