Spiritual Cultivation

The novice in Christian Science often wonders why he has so much error to overcome when he is striving to live in accordance with its teachings; indeed it may sometimes seem that the errors and false beliefs manifest as sin, sickness, and limitation, which were supposedly overcome, reappear even more frequently than before. One who is in this state of wonderment may gain a helpful lesson by considering the process of the farmer in tilling the soil. Ground that has never been cultivated is sometimes covered with prairie grass in which are often found weeds of various kinds that are not always seen by the casual observer. This wild grass serves its purpose as a pasture and is usually rather attractive, but its beauty and the productiveness of the soil are not to be compared with the cultivated field.

In preparing such wild land for cultivation, any large stones or other obstructions must first be removed. The grass and weeds are then plowed under, and when the ground is smoothed over, it is ready for the good seed which the farmer has selected. The farmer has nothing to do with the growing process, for God "giveth the increase." It is necessary, however, for him to watch constantly, lest the weeds and wild grass which were overturned but not destroyed, reappear, to hinder or thwart the germination and growth of the seed. He does not become discouraged in this, for he knows that it is because the soil is good and is being cultivated that the weeds appear more troublesome than before. He knows too that if he immediately uproots them as they appear above the surface, they can do no harm. If he is faithful in keeping out the weeds, he is sure to have a bountiful crop as a reward for his work; but if through ignorance, carelessness, or negligence they are allowed to grow, he will not only be deprived of his present harvest, but sooner or later he will again have to go through the over-turning and uprooting process before the soil can be productive of further good, and the work will be more difficult because of his having allowed the weeds to take possession.

The significance of this illustration readily appears. The soil of the human mind is covered with the wild grass of selfishness and the weeds of error, false beliefs,—evil thought and tendencies of which we may not have been conscious until we began the study of Christian Science. On page 96 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy says: "The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, want and woe, sin, sickness, and death, which assume new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances will continue until the end of error, when all discord will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth."

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"I will lift up mine eyes"
December 25, 1915

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