When the Winds are Contrary

The human heart longs for ease, for present comfort of the flesh, saying within itself, that this world were quite heaven enough, could its promises be kept and its joys be made permanent. Such a life lifts not its eyes above the level of present achievement, nor sees the relationship between the immediate disappointment or trial and the wholesome lesson learned thereby. The youth, in impatience to realize all his dreams, looks to his future material existence as the arena for his triumphs, and only as time and experience expose the temporal and unsatisfying nature of things worldly and material, does he grow to see that nothing save the divinely good endures in the passing of the three-score years and ten. This supreme lesson, that spiritual dominion over the material self is alone great, is well learned when human loss and pain prove, of themselves, the powerlessness of matter to save itself from itself. And all philosophy and theology have united in declaring that humanity's most purifying lessons are learned through these paths of limitation and sorrow.

Christian Science, however, comes to the suffering sense which is striving to be resigned to the incurability of earthly discord, with the actual proof that the discord is curable; and it is just at this point, where material means are at an end and all merely human affection and effort are powerless to rescue and redeem, that the saving Christ-mind finds its opportunity to minister actively to the human need. In the sixth chapter of Mark's Gospel it is recorded that Jesus saw the disciples "toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them." And he came to them saying, "Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid." Surely the Christian to-day can testify, as well, that he hears most clearly the voice of the Christ when the winds are contrary,—hears it most clearly because in such hours he needs it most sorely and listens most earnestly.

"Work out your own salvation"
March 18, 1905

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