School Days

In studying Christian Science, it sometimes happens that when one begins to gain some knowledge of the value of its teachings, and to realize with great joy that it does indeed lead to an understanding of that truth which makes men free from "the law of sin and death," there comes also an overwhelming desire that those nearest and dearest should seek it too. Perhaps there may be some special one with whom the joys of life have always been shared, and to whom the student of Christian Science turns as naturally with this new-found treasure, and much more joyously, because it means more to him than anything else ever has. With sure expectancy that it will be welcome, he presents the gift he is so eager to share, and perhaps for the first time in his life he meets with a lack of reponsiveness and a decided unwillingness to receive the proffered good. Surprised, grieved, it may happen that such a one will feel, because of unity of purpose in other things, that this new joy must be given up, or repressed.

If the study is quietly kept up, and the seeking is rewarded by finding more and more of the true, and a consequent discarding of the false, there may come a time when the student feels that he must call a halt, because he fears that he may be getting too far away from the one who is not yet ready to follow. Striving then to wait, on the one hand, crying out at the same time to go on, as wonderful vistas are revealed through the study of the Word, the situation seems a difficult one. Then possibly the question comes, Is it right for me to keep on gaining and growing if it means leaving behind another who is dear to me? This may be answered, perhaps, by thinking of ourselves as just scholars every day at school. We are now striving to learn what the great Teacher has to teach us, and if we wish to enter the different schoolrooms and classes, fully prepared and equipped for the varying lessons we are to be taught therein, we must be willing to begin in the primary school and learn its lessons well ourselves.

Now suppose that in this primary school a child, by faithful performance of the duties given, has so mastered the first steps on an upward pathway that he is ready to enter a higher grade,—would it be fair or just that he should be held back because a loved schoolmate, with whom perchance he had started side by side, was not yet ready or willing to go up higher, and must therefore stay a while longer in the primary grade? Surely the other must needs go on, and the temporary separation be made,—temporary, because of the certain knowledge that the other must eventually progress and pass through all grades too, till at last, together, they finish their course with joy.

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Ark of the Covenant
February 20, 1915

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