Lessons from a Garden

A Young Christian Scientist, who was also an ardent gardener, was at work in his garden one evening, when a teacher in the Christian Science Sunday school, who had been watching him for some time, asked him how it was with his garden. The young gardener recognized that the words had a double meaning, and replied, that if it were only as easy to get rid of the weeds in the mental realm as it was in the case of those with which he had just been grappling, he might joyfully answer that all was well. The teacher regarded him thoughtfully and replied, "Perhaps if you were to tackle them in the same way, they would disappear as rapidly."

This reply furnished food for thought, and the young man began to wonder just where lay the difference in method that could seem to cause such different results. First he took up the question of the tools. He never went into his garden without the proper tools. He knew that he had used them, that they were in good condition, and also the specific use to which each should be put. Was he always as careful to equip himself with the word of God which is needed in order to destroy all that is unlike God, good? Then, too, was the work ever neglected so long that the weeds became of rank growth, or were they arrested immediately upon their appearance? Was he always as watchful to "suffer no claim of sin or of sickness to grow upon the thought"? (Science and Health, p. 390.)

Again, it was admitted that it is not necessary to be acquainted with the name and characteristics of every weed that might spring up, but enough to know the plants he would have remain. So no time was lost in wondering where the weeds came from, how they got there, etc.; in fact, they never seemed to enter his thought at all, and herein he began to see the great difference in the treatment of his gardens. Mrs. Eddy says on page 407 of Science and Health, "Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts instead of its demoralized opposite." This in the one case had seemed easy, for the plants he was fostering had filled his thoughts rather than the weeds he was destroying, and their number troubled him not at all, for he began with the nearest at hand, and so worked through the garden,—not wandering here and there, not lamenting because they were there, but working cheerfully and patiently, until they had disappeared.

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May 30, 1914

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