Keeping Up One's Courage

The writer was born and raised on a farm a few miles from town, and when attending high school he would stay in town from Monday morning until Friday evening. When Saturday morning came he would be out early in the fields with his big brother, especially during seedtime and harvest. One springtime he remembers going to the fields when the barley was being sown. He was particularly interested to know how soon the newly sown grain would shoot out of the ground, and was told that it would do so in about three days. In the fall of the year he remembers going to the fields when the winter wheat was being sown, and upon asking how soon it would come up he was informed that the wheat would take about three weeks to shoot out. At first he could not understand why it should take the wheat three weeks to spring up when it took the barley only three days, so he asked his brother why they sowed wheat at all when the returns on the barley were so much quicker. The answer was, that though the barley grew much more quickly than the wheat, yet a bushel of wheat was worth as much as three bushels of barley.

A year or so ago the writer was able to make practical use of this lesson learned in boyhood. It served as the means of keeping up his courage in solving what seemed a slow problem. To his sense of things there was no reason why it should take so long before any returns were visible. More than once he allotted a certain length of time within which to make the demonstration, but every time he did this, he found that when the given period had expired, a solution to his problem seemed farther away than ever. More than once he felt discouraged, but the last time such a thought presented itself, his boyhood lesson in connection with the wheat and the barley flashed into memory, and it surely did serve him to good purpose. Finally the demonstration was made, and to his joy and surprise it brought a blessing far richer than he had anticipated, for the blessing he received was as different from the one he had expected to receive as wheat is from barley, and it was many times more valuable.

We often wonder why our ills are not overcome and our problems solved within the time we allot for the demonstration, and according to the plan or scheme which we have drawn up for that purpose. How often it happens that before we start to work out a problem we plan a sort of "cut and dried" solution of it. This in every instance will delay the result and very frequently lead to failure, for by our very actions we unconsciously exclude God, Principle, from our work; yet is not the realization of Principle the answer to every problem? What brings the surest returns for us, be our need physical or otherwise, is the hard work recommended by Mrs. Eddy on page 2 of her Message to The Mother Church for June, 1900, where she says: "The song of Christian Science is, 'Work—work—work—watch and pray.'" We should take up the fight with firm determination to overcome evil, and with ready obedience to Truth, determined to accomplish but one thing, and that, the conquest of error, whether it threaten our health, happiness, or prosperity. To be optimistic helps one to be courageous, and the more slowly the problem works out, the greater the opportunity to invest effort; and good efforts, like grains of wheat, do not get lost, for God takes care of all.

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

The Church Soloist
March 30, 1918

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.