"A grain of mustard seed"

A USEFUL parallel may be drawn between our sense of the apparently insignificant mustard seed and the too common indifference to the present moment. Infinite possibilities may grow out of what seems a very little thing, so that great and small become only relative terms. Every moment's reflection of God is essentially important. When this view of living is clearly discerned, each moment becomes one of quiet enthusiasm, and we no longer neglect the present in order to look forward to next week or next year, hoping for a larger opportunity.

The essential greatness and significance of the present is for the most part lost sight of by the habit of looking idly or regretfully forward or backward. To recognize the real meaning of the present opportunity furnishes the only standpoint from which to view correctly the past and future. Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a grain of mustard seed. The seed presents all the possibilities of its outcome,—a fact indicated in the statement that this "least of all seeds" finally becomes the "greatest among herbs." The essence of both seed and tree is one and the same, and spiritual greatness is quality rather than quantity. The joy of knowing that the present moment is one of contact with infinite good makes us strong for work and for trials of our faith. When Peter perceived something of the glory of the spiritual idea which Jesus showed them on the mount of transfiguration, he said, "Let us make here three tabernacles." The tendency of the human is always to limit or confine the spiritual idea, whereas each moment's revelation of good has infinite possibilities. Failure to recognize this is the reason why we all have to come down from such mounts of transfiguration and go to work again casting out evils and healing the sick, but that need not discourage us. Not until the spiritual idea has ascended above all material sense can we see that God is not confined within the poor human concept. The disciple John finally saw this when he declared of the heavenly vision, "I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it."

Recently, while seeking to realize something of that grain of faith to which is promised such great results as the removing of mountains, there came to mind the early experience of a student of Christian Science, who was watching and waiting to know whether this Science were really of God or not. She was walking in the street one day, and saw some children at play whom she knew to be the children of a Christian Scientist. A violent quarrel seemed to be going on. She lingered in some curiosity, surprised that they could quarrel like that. Suddenly one little girl stood boldly up and said, "God is ever-present, and God is Love!" The tempest was stilled at once, and the lady went on, wondering greatly, and saying within herself, "This must be the truth, since it can accomplish results like that." Surely here is the quality of faith that removes mountains of unbelief, and so perhaps does the work that centuries could not do without that little seed, "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."

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August 11, 1906

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