Lesson Learning

Imagine that, something useful in the lesson! Who would have thunk it? So, lately, it seems that a couple friends of mine have decided to make a consicous effort to reign in their weight and get healthy. I am a supporter of this goal to be sure, but I did find myself lacking in a higher conception of exercise. Mrs. Eddy talks about your "body of thought" and muscles being thought-forces, but I never really had a good idea on exercise. Sure, in sports, I was playing to glorify God, the brotherhood of the team, etc… Now that I am essentially done with playing competitive sports, I find I am not really motivated to exercise because I feel like it is for myself. Wanting to resolve things into thoughts, I have been looking for that elevated definition of exercise to support my friends' efforts spiritually. Enter section five of this week's lesson. From Science and Health, 393:8 -

Mind is the 9 master of the corporeal senses, and can conquer sickness, sin, and death. Exercise this God-given authority. Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action. 12 Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on 15 man.

Duh! I have grown up being told, "Know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free", and I always thought, "Yeah, okay, easier said than done". This passage was an 'A ha!' moment for me. Applying this passage to basketball, you cannot run an offense or defense without a having a basic skill set, like knowing how to shoot, pass, rebound, etc. Knowing these skills, in and of themselves, does not win basketball games. They must be combined into an offensive and defensive philosophy, given structure. The analogy, then, is that knowing the Truth is knowing how to pass, shoot, rebound. It's all well and good knowing that God is All-in-all, but in and of itself doesn't do too much towards realizing the Truth. Only when we put into practice what we are learning and give it a framework do these truths become demonstrable. Yes, there are many healings where the person simply "knew a truth", but that is not the healing that Jesus did. It is not enough to know; one must do. To a newbie, this is hard and not immediately clear what that implies. What I think the passage points out is that no matter the evidence before the material senses, the spiritual fact of being is harmony. Jesus, while on a ship at sea during a storm, slept. When woken up by the disciples, Jesus did not panic, as I'm sure many of us would; instead, he rebuked the storm, and peace, the peace Jesus knew was ever present spiritually, was realized by the material senses. The first step towards this kind of dominance (see Gen 1:26) is taking possession of our bodies, governing our feelings and actions. Back to basketball for a moment. Players talk of times when they are "in the zone", where they can do no wrong, where their desires are realized. I myself have experienced this and it is beautiful. I stopped worrying about the future, what pass I had to make to keep the offense flowing or where I had to be standing on defense to prevent an opponent from driving, and was engrossed by the present. I imagine the feeling of being in the spiritual zone is incalcuable. We do not, however, go right to the zone. It starts with "glorious glimpses", moments where our thoughts are aligned and nothing is impossible. Just as a jump shot becomes more consistent with practice, so do these glorious glimpses turn from moments to stretches to eternity. That sweet reward, and it is sweet, cannot be gained without bearing our cross. I feel good about exercising now…