Mountain Climbing

Every lover of mountain climbing knows the joy of ascending a blazed trail as it winds its way up through the silence of a soft-carpeted pine forest and out upon windy, unsheltered ledges of rocks and boulders, or as frequently happens, across treacherous bogs and slippery undergrowth near the course of a brook. The difficulties that attend the way only add zest to the undertaking, for each incident has its unique interest to the climber, and after a particularly aggressive obstacle in his path has been surmounted, he experiences a certain indefinable elation in pressing on with renewed purpose to the summit. Here and there a clearing in the trail gives him a happy glimpse of the unfolding prospect about him, and spurs him on with the promise of a wider and possibly an uninterrupted view of the horizon, if he but continue faithfully on and up.

During several vacation trips in the White Mountains, the writer has been led to compare certain aspects of such an experience with that mental journey which every Christian Scientist is engaged in taking daily in his progressive ascent toward the goal of spiritual understanding,—for have we not in the Bible, in Science and Health and the Manual of The Mother Church a well blazed trail to follow? Could any path be clearer or more definite? And while the belief in a selfhood apart from God, and other phases of materiality, confront us, and the way may seem at times interminable and beset with dangers, our gratitude should be unbounded that the path has been blazed so accurately and so lovingly that no one need stumble or wander, if he but keep mentally vigilant and follow the blazed path.

The experienced mountain climber realizes the great advantage to his progress in keeping alert. He must not only keep a sharp lookout on the path, to avoid loose stones and projecting roots, but he must constantly keep sighting the blazes ahead which point the way, that he may not wander heedlessly off the trail and become confused or lost. Unless he is careful to preserve the proper balance in this twofold visual occupation, he is certain to impede his advance, either by tripping over unseen pitfalls or by loss of time spent in searching for the path when he finds himself astray. He has learned the advantage of steady, even climbing rather than the hectic forging ahead of the novice, who is wont to loiter along easy portions of the journey, forgetful of or apathetic toward the work ahead.

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

Righteous Prayer
October 23, 1915

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.