Our Course

One of the many fishermen who troll for salmon off the coast of southeastern Alaska had occasion to cross Chatham Straits during a very heavy fog and found it necessary to exercise every precaution in navigating his little craft that he might reach safely the protected harbor for which he had started. To one who has never attempted to navigate a vessel in a dense fog, it would be difficult to describe the many illusions that arise to tempt him to doubt the accuracy of the compass by which he is steering. And though the fisherman knew the course perfectly, having proved it by running over it in clear weather by the same compass, he had not been under way more than one half of the allotted time before huge banks of dense fog began to appear in the forms of wooded hills, valleys, and rocks. So real did these hills and rocks seem that the temptation was very great to disregard the compass, and turn in some other direction to avoid what seemed inevitable disaster. But he knew that to reach his destination he must hold to his course, for to attempt to steer in any given direction, except by compass, is humanly most unwise in a heavy fog, and would probably terminate in the wrecking of his little craft upon one of the submerged rocks or jagged rocky reefs that are legion along the Alaskan coast; and though at times he unconsciously braced himself for the shock of collision—for could not his eyes see the hills, yes, even the trees upon the hills?—he held true to his course as directed by an unseen, yet proved power. And after having run the allotted time, he suddenly emerged from the fog and found that he had already entered the mouth of the harbor, wherein was safe anchorage.

This, of course, is a very common experience in certain localities, and yet the Christian Scientist will see at once how perfectly it typifies his own experience since beginning his voyage in Christian Science, wherein his compass has been our textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, for he, too, has proved that it points true, and though at times evil has seemed so real as to cause him to "brace himself"—for could not his eyes see the evil?—he has shaped his course as directed by our textbook, and knows that the seeming evils were "fog." Have not many of us been piloted into the harbor of peace and harmony, even after, according to physical sense, we were already a wreck upon some "reef" and our hope of ever reaching this harbor seemed forever gone? Surely this is what our beloved Leader means when she tells us (Science and Health, p. 96): "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. Mortal error will vanish in a moral chemicalization. This mental fermentation has begun, and will continue until all errors of belief yield to understanding. Belief is changeable, but spiritual understanding is changeless. As this consummation draws nearer, he who has shaped his course in accordance with divine Science will endure to the end." And again on page 458, "The Christian Scientist wisely shapes his course, and is honest and consistent in following the leadings of divine Mind." Mrs. Eddy knew that it is impossible by human means to steer a true course through the fogs of material sense to the harbor of peace. Our hearts turn to her in gratitude for having given again to the world the gospel of Christ Jesus, that enables those who will to shape their course in accordance with Truth, and prove the nothingness of evil and the allness of God, good.

March 12, 1921

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