In one of Jesus' parables we read: "This know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through." A recent experience in overcoming mental and physical inharmony brought to the writer the practical significance of this verse and showed plainly that the inharmonious condition had been brought about through apathy, mental laziness, and a false sense of patience, which mental state had permitted "the thief" to enter and the mental home "to be broken through." The thought, "if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come," suggested to me that since I did not know at what hour or what instant the thief would come,—the temptation to believe a lie, the lie that there is life or intelligence in matter; the temptation to fear; the temptation to think or say or do something unloving or uncharitable; the temptation to give power to aught but God,—and, since I did not know at what hour or what instant I might be called upon to stand firm in the truth, how necessary it was for me to be always on guard, "instant in season, out of season." It showed me that we must know the truth all of the time, not merely some of the time; that we must, every minute, every hour, refuse "to be influenced by any but the divine Mind" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 113). Thus doing, we are protected by the impenetrable armor of Truth and are shielded from every attack or error. Here it is well to recall our Leader's further admonition to be "never absent from your post, never off guard, never ill-humored, never unready to work for God" (p. 116).

The verse quoted states that had the goodman known "he would have watched." This first part of the verse had taught me when I was to watch. Not spasmodically, but all the time. But what was I to watch? Surely not matter or personality. No, I was to watch first of all my own thoughts; not the mistakes and wrongs about me, but only that which is right; not the ways and methods of evil, but the ways and methods of him who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life;" not to be guided by my own self-will or human opinion, but to watch for divine direction, which "illumines, designates, and leads the way" (Science and Health, p. 454); not to study and watch the counterfeit man and universe, but to watch and study constantly the man and universe of God's creating. And if thus watching, every hour, every instant, surely one will not suffer his house "to be broken through." In other words, he will not allow his consciousness to become a channel through which thievish thoughts may enter and plunder. The cheering promise to the faithful is this: "The Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not" to reward the faithful watcher.

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May 18, 1912

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