Looking at the immense distance between present attainment and the perfect ideal, there may come to the student at times a feeling akin to dismay at the relatively insignificant portion of that distance which he has covered; or he may go to the extreme of regarding his problem too indulgently, excusing himself with the thought that he has all eternity in which to do his work. Mrs. Eddy has well said of the "neophyte in Christian Science," that he is inclined to be "too fast or too slow" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 78); hence one's aim should be to find that happy medium wherein he can work undisturbed by the fear of delay, and untempted to slight his work in the desire for haste. Absolute thoroughness is demanded of the Christian Scientist, else his work will not stand. It is a most commendable desire to "gain good rapidly," but if one feels that he is unable to hold his ground, it may lead to a more enduring progress to "attain slowly and yield not to discouragement" (Science and Health, p. 254).

If the student is always faithful to what he has, his progress will be as rapid as his knowledge of Truth permits. It is the unfaithful disciple who should be alarmed because of mental stagnation, which is ever a breeding-ground for trouble. To be discouraged over apparently slow growth is better than to be indifferent as to whether one is progressing at all. The supposition that mortals have all eternity in which to work out their salvation tends to induce a sense of self-satisfaction with present experience and achievement rather than to stimulate the effort to reach a higher consciousness. If it is true that mortal man has eternity in which to correct his wrong thinking, it would also be true that erroneous thought might, in some degree, sway mankind forever. But the very falsity of error ensures its total self-extinction, and to postpone unnecessarily the corrective process on our part, for the sake of prolonging the belief of material ease or pleasure, will only add to the pain of our awakening.

October 30, 1909

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