"Potentially we are all aristocrats." That arresting statement was made in a TV documentary on the Boston Marathon. The program, entitled "The Pursuit of Excellence," described how two top marathon runners, Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter, face up to the challenges of long-distance races.
One expert interviewed on the program said everyone who competes in a marathon and finishes the course is a victor, because he has overcome the same kinds of challenges as the fastest runners, even if his time is much longer.
Everyone, the expert continued, can be an aristocrat. In the highest sense, he explained, being an aristocrat means getting the best out of yourself, being the best you can. The only obstacle to perfection, he added, is "you."
This expert was of course speaking of human potential. But what he said could also be seen as hinting at an underlying truth: that man's real potential is unlimited, because he reflects the infinite abilities of God. In fact, man already exists at the point of perfection, since he is the immortal image of the all-perfect God. Didn't Christ Jesus say, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect"? n1
n1 Matthew 5:48.
The person who begins to understand spiritual facts such as these gains a growing dominion over his physical body and environment, and an increasing awareness of his ability to succeed in whatever legitimate tasks he undertakes. He doesn't have to be a marathon runner to be a winner. He can turn every challenge into a victory when he recognizes that God is the only source of intelligence. He supplies His ideas, His sons and daughters, with unlimited spiritual strength and energy.
What is the "you" that would block the perfecting of performance in human experience? Isn't it the mortal sense of a limited, fragile, hesitant, or timid material self, liable to errors and fallibilities and negative laws?
Mary Baker Eddy n2 writes, "Science reveals the possibility of achieving all good, and sets mortals at work to discover what God has already done; but distruct of one's ability to gain the goodness desired and to bring out better and higher results, often hampers the trial of one's wings and ensures failure at the outset." n3
n2 Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 260.
Knowledge of the true relation of man to God, and of God's control over His universe, brings with it a buoyant feeling of confidence in good. In my own case it has enabled me to undertake assignments that at one time I would have thought impossible. I have seen doors opened unexpectedly for new opportunities in my work as a journalist and writer.
It may sometimes seem painfully true that not everyone has the opportunity to be his best or to excel, that limitations of education, race, or social standing prevent many people from realizing their full potential. But once we begin to see potential in terms of man's inheritance as the spiritual reflection of a wholly impartial, all-loving God, we take off, and can help others do the same, along a new and inspiring course where the possibilities for continuing advancement are unlimited.
Mrs. Eddy says, "Science reveals the glorious possibilities of immortal man, forever unlimited by the mortal senses." n4
n4 ibid.,m p. 288.
We can to be aristocrats in the highest sense. We can let God, divine Love, govern and control our thinking and doing. DAILY BIBLE VERSE It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. he maketh my feel like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Psalms 18:32-35