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My grandson called and ask me to meet him in Las Vegas as the Air Force was flying him there from Germany for training. Without reservation, I accepted his invitation. He and his team picked me up at the airport, established my role as grandmother, and off we went to the air base.

The team trained during most of the day. This left me with an abundance of quiet time to study the Sermon on the Mount, a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus Christ (Matt. 5, 6, 7), and listen to the essence of its discourse. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Christian Science Church, writes, “To my sense, the Sermon on the Mount, read each Sunday without comment and obeyed throughout the week, would be enough for Christian practice.”

After school, the team would pick me up for dinner and sightseeing. These airmen were respectful, watchful and obedient to high moral standards. I am deeply grateful to them and others serving in the military for their sacrifices to protect our freedom.

On the third night, after our last activity, we were shocked to find the van missing. To our surprise a towing service had towed it to a garage three miles away. After a group discussion we all agreed that walking the distance to retrieve the van was our only alternative. I was up for the challenge even though I had not prepared physically to make such a walk.

My in-depth study of the Sermon on the Mount gave me an enhanced view of my abilities. My thought had expanded into newness, freshness and a pure sense of joy and peace, lifting me out of any sense of limitation.

I’m happy to report that each step I took was relaxed and fun. As we arrived at our destination, one of the men remarked to me that he was amazed that I was leading the pack and not out of breath.

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Was there a direct connection between the study of the Sermon on the Mount and my mental and physical capacity? Yes.

Accomplishing the three-mile walk with limited time and in flip-flops proved for me a mind/body connection in a practical way.

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The results of many studies by today’s scientists have concluded that there is, indeed, a direct connection between what we think and the effect it has on our bodies.

Eddy saw the connection between mind and body. In her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she said, “After a lengthy examination of my discovery and its demonstration in healing the sick, this fact became evident to me, — that Mind governs the body, not partially but wholly.” She regarded Jesus as “the way-shower.”

With humility, I gratefully acknowledge and thank Jesus for his remarkable accomplishments and unselfish sacrifice. Leaning on the strength of his message confirmed to me that listening and following his sayings and teachings pays big dividends.

Ball is a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Napa. She wrote this as part of the Thursday Pulpit series that runs weekly in The St. Helena Star and The Weekly Calistogan.

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