Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Century of Climbing Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Century of Climbing Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

I recently completed a one-day, 100-mile bicycle trip. That was the longest distance I've biked in a single day.

The course, in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada, was a large loop along little-traveled roads, past breathtaking scenery, with not a single stoplight and only one stop sign. It was referred to as a "century ride," as such events commonly are, because of the distance.

The route began at a considerable altitude and coursed several high-mountain passes. Pedaling up the first long incline, labeled "Dead man summit" on the map, I wondered briefly if it had been named for a biker. Despite my fatigue, the day involved some enlivening spiritual climbing, paralleling those long, steep grades. Fragments from a hymn started recurring to me: "I climb, with joy, the heights of Mind,/ To soar o'er time and space;/ I yet shall know as I am known/ And see Thee face to face" ("Christian Science Hymnal" No. 136). I knew that Mind, spelled with a capital M, referred to God, or what the Scriptures call "the mind of Christ" (I Cor. 2:16). Wasn't the hymn pointing to a spiritual ascent, a lifting of thought to a higher altitude? From there I could begin to know myself as the divine Mind knows me. What a beautiful aim - to know ourselves as we are known. To see ourselves as we are seen by God, as the very expression of divine good! To realize what divine Mind already realizes, that our ability, stamina, and intelligence are not the stuff of personal accomplishment, not fuel for a personal ego, but are solely of Him! No wonder the climbing is with joy! That hymn, though, also talks about soaring over time and space. Rolling along at 15 m.p.h., I felt sorely off pace. Of course, the poetic imagery of soaring is not physical. It's metaphysical. It points to an ascent of thought, not of bike and biker. Only later did I connect the move above time or distance as a move above faulty knowing, false beliefs, and misconceptions about myself. For instance, did I believe a body that is x years old can only do y amount of activity? If so, was I knowing myself as I am known? No. God doesn't think of us as a certain age, as having traveled so far, with only so much more left in us. …

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