Small Things

APPARENT conflict between passages in the Bible is often a stimulus to thought. Seeing that Christian Science is showing the spiritual meaning of the Bible and demands a complete reversal of a material sense of things, it is not surprising that the Bible teems with references to the importance of small things. In Solomon's Song we read, "Take up the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines," a passage which finds a parallel in Science and Health (p. 405), "Choke these errors in their early stages, if you would not cherish an army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success." The writer of Proverbs expresses a similar thought, "Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; thy want as an armed man," and the same writer notices that "there be four things that are little on the earth, but they are exceeding wise." The voice that followed the whirlwind was a "small" voice, although it was the voice of God, and the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel was "not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit. . . . Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain. . . . For who hath despised the day of small things?"

On the other hand, Martha was rebuked because she was "careful and troubled about many things," evidently small ones, and reminded that but "one thing is needful." She received a rebuke which we should all do well to heed. One who is striving to obey Principle, to reflect the order of divine Mind will never despise small things, but, his thinking being fixed on Principle, he will not lose his sense of proportion, not let his attention to small duties make him forget the large ones. This mistake Martha surely made, for in her anxiety to give her guest material comfort, she let in thoughts of resentment toward her sister, which could contribute to no one's happiness, but would rather counterbalance her well-meant material activities—well-meant but ill-governed; for if they had been governed by Principle she would not have lost sight of Principle nor would she have felt her labor burdensome. As it was with Martha, so it is with the punctilious man; he takes his gaze away from God and allows it to rest too long on small duties, so that they seem to take on an importance of their own, whereas they are really important only as expression of Principle. He cannot see the wood for the trees; he is in a mental state which is easily betrayed so that it will "strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." He is right in his desire to make his work perfect, even in the minutest details. He is wrong in not perceiving the danger attendant on letting these details engross his thoughts.

June 26, 1920

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