One of the requirements in my chosen field
of study included a course in chemical engineering. After about
eight weeks of study, we were told to prepare for a one-hour exam
that would include all the material from the beginning of the
term. We were not to be concerned about the length of the exam
but to just complete as much of it as we could. "No one ever
finishes it" was my professor's comment. Even though I always
did my homework assignments, I was not getting good grades. To
me, the formulas describing chemical reactions just seemed fanciful.
I was not grasping the meaning of the concepts being presented. The night before the exam, I tried to review but found myself frustrated and afraid. There were literally hundreds of pages of formulas, and they were getting all jumbled up in my mind. After hours of fruitless study, I just gave up and went to bed.
I awoke an hour before the exam was to start,
sat at my desk,
and asked conscience what I should do. Trying to cram for the test seemed wrong, so I decided to study the weekly Bible Lesson.
I knew that spiritual peace was more important than any exam,
so I set aside my fear and began to pray. When I finished, I felt a new sense of man's relationship to God as intelligent being. At this point, I asked conscience again, 'What should I do now?' This time I heard a distinct answer: "Study chemistry!" The idea seemed so bizarre! I looked up at the clock - there were hundreds of pages of formulas and an exam to commence in fifteen minutes! Obediently, I opened the chemistry text and began to turn its pages at a rate of about one per second. It was so easy. I understood as never before the purpose of each formula and how it functioned. It was an exhilarating and glorious experience.
I left my room after about five minutes
and happily walked to the exam, which was being held in a gymnasium
filled with about 500 desks. I picked up an exam and found a desk
at the back of the room. I became completely immersed in answering
question after question, using the formulas that I now understood.
a while, I got to the end of the test. Remembering what the professor had said, I carefully checked to make sure that I had not overlooked some part of the exam. It was complete. I looked up at the clock to find that I had only been sitting there twenty minutes (one-third of the allotted time). It all seemed so incredible, but I was finished and satisfied, so I walked to the front of the room and handed in my answers. My professor asked, "Don't you even want to try?" I assured him that I had completed the test. The thrill of feeling something of God's intelligence, apart from self, was profound. Do I need to report here that my answers were correct?
I would be remiss if I did not disclose
a permanent change in my character and apparent intelligence after
this experience. Throughout my schooling up until college, I was
considered an average student - I was told as much by my teachers
- and my grades reflected that status. As I fulfilled my promise
to pray about everything that first semester, the evidence was
overwhelmingly in God's favor. The enlightenment on the morning
of the chemistry exam was only one of several profound experiences
that I had witnessed. By the end of that term, I found myself
first in my class academically, and there I remained for the following
three years of undergraduate school. Graduate work and a full
fellowship at an Ivy League school followed. There is no doubt
in my mind about the influence that Christian Science has had
on my life. I unequivocally recommend seeking out and practicing
the Science of Christ. Saint Peter wrote of his practice, "We
have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known
unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were
eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father
honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the
excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom
I am well pleased" (II Pet 1:16-17).
George Denninger ©