To do anything it is necessary to begin to do it. Procrastination usually debilitates more or less, and frequently prevents. This applies to the taking of our steps in Christian Science. There are many phases of error always ready with sophistical arguments for delay. One of these is timidity; another is self-condemnation; another is self-distrust; another is doubt; and there are others. Besides this, all mortals are more or less lazy; indolence is a worldbelief which attempts to mesmerize us into inaction. Christian Scientists may regretfully observe that the lethargic masses of men and women seemingly find it far easier to crook the elbow and lift a spoon to the mouth than to think; but how is it with themselves, if they are in the habit of depending upon others to help them when they ought to help themselves, or at least try a vast deal harder to help themselves? In every schoolroom the teacher must help the scholars to find the way; but the teacher well knows that the scholars must work out their own problems in order to understand and master them.

Suppose that you have a ladder to climb; is it not better to be content with climbing the bottom rung first? Even if you were able to climb the middle or upper rungs first, would that be the best way of the safest way to learn to climb? Let us suppose that the ladder is your understanding of Truth. You may be impatient, we will say, to take the advanced or upper rungs before you have mastered the initial rungs. If you were able to do so, what might occur? You might have to pick yourself up, bruised and discomfited; and then begin to climb anew, or, perhaps, turn away in discouragement.

Suppose you wish to learn how to solve problems in the higher mathematics; surely you would not expect to do so without first learning the simpler parts. If you should be so impatient as to try to learn the more difficult problems first, it is quite probable that you would soon find yourself bewildered and disheartened. You must surely agree that the sensible way is to be content to learn first what you find yourself able to comprehend and assimilate, and to leave the things which may puzzle you until you are better prepared to master them by the process, more or less slow and difficult with all of us, of broadening and disciplining your preparatory thought. Is it not the same in the study of Christian Science? In many things, and from many points of view, its teachings reverse our preconceived notions, and may antagonize some of our stubborn and combative prejudices. If at the first reading we could comprehend and accept every statement and proposition, and be able to follow without dissent every chain of reasoning, would we be learning anything which we did not already know, or be making any forward movement on the road of Truth? Whenever we encounter any snarls, do we not need to remember that they may be our own snarls, after all, and not the snarls of some one else? and patiently try to unwind them one by one, rather than all of them at once? May it not be that the unraveling of one snarl will aid us to unravel the next one?

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

November 23, 1907

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.