With a desire for the opportunity to prove an understanding of God, the writer began to search for the meaning of opportunity. In the old way of thinking, opportunity had meant chance; it presented itself regardless of expectation, wholly independent of one's knowledge or control. Its habit was to arrive unannounced, and we were taught to believe that having arrived, an opportunity knocked but once. Thus, the individual needed to exercise unceasing vigilance lest he miss his opportunity when it presented itself. Two incidents, seemingly trivial, brought to the writer an awakening to the truer meaning of opportunity, for which there is much gratitude.

As a member of a choral society comprised almost wholly of church-members, there had been a disposition to withhold the information that she was a Christian Scientist, lest it precipitate an argument or stir unnecessary antagonism. On a certain Sunday, a rendition of Handel's "Messiah" was to be given in a church building, and the writer, who had been striving all day to see the unreality of a discordant bodily condition, had made what seemed a big effort to be present at this vesper service. Sitting apart for a few moments of quiet thought, before the service began, another member of the chorus approached with the friendly query, "To what church do you belong?" The unconsciously feared moment had come, and the Christian Scientist, unprepared to meet it in truth, gave an evasive reply and sought to turn aside; but the questioner, thinking she had not caught the reply correctly, repeated her inquiry. The conversation which ensued disclosed a very friendly attitude toward Christian Science and an interest in it which had been awakened by the healing of a mutual friend. Following this explanation came uplift, kindliness, joy, gratitude,—all the activities of Love were brought into play; the oratorio became a hymn of praise instead of the anticipated effort, and the sense of physical discord was corrected even before the service began. Then came an unfoldment of what opportunity really means. Opportunity was seen as an idea in Mind, and man being the manifestation of Mind, opportunity lies within man, not outside of him. To let Mind be in us, is to become the opportunity for Mind to express itself.

Not long after this, one severely cold day, the writer was again reminded of this meaning of opportunity. A small boy had slipped and fallen on the ice. Surrounded by a group of school children, his little face distorted with cold and fright, he appeared unable to rise. A word of cheer from the consciousness filled with the reflection of Love to the exclusion of all sense of cold, brought the little fellow to his feet and sent him on his way. It all seemed to have been done in a moment, and the opportunity to prove Love's nearness had never appeared to the Christian Scientist so certain or so big as it did at that moment.

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May 3, 1913

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