Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Embracing the Olympic Spirit ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Embracing the Olympic Spirit ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Article excerpt

There is nothing like feeling the joy of breaking through old limits, and, with the winter Olympics taking place, participants will perform better than athletes ever have in the past. It's exhilarating to witness in others - or to discover for oneself - new levels of achievement.

A key part of performance is an athlete's thought, and people will often say, after performing better than before, how surprised they were to find that, in those moments of achievement, their actions were not forced but felt almost effortless.

I competed as a skier during high school and college and at times experienced that kind of effortless achievement. I would feel free from limits and more fully aware of my spiritual identity.

That word "spiritual" is heard so often. But what does it actually mean? To me, it's more than just thinking about God, immortality, and peace, as helpful as those thoughts are. And it's more than thinking I'm a physical shell with a spiritual identity inside.

"Spiritual" to me means not connected with physicality at all - just as sometimes you can look at a friend and see only qualities. Qualities such as joy, intelligence, grace, and insight are God's expression of identity in that friend. They're indications of a level that's beyond anything physical or mortal. They are not mortal; they're im-mortal; they're spiritual.

Exploring spiritual identity has been a pursuit of mine for many years, and a touchstone in that quest has been this statement by Mary Baker Eddy, the woman who founded this newspaper. She wrote, "Creation rests on a spiritual basis" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 555). In sports I learned that I didn't really know myself until I admitted that I'm God's creation, and 100 percent spiritual.

To be spiritual means to have identity as God's thought. Divine Mind, another name for God, expresses itself in ideas, spiritual ideas. Just as God isn't constricted by physicality, neither are any of us, actually, because we are the ideas of God. …

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