Stages of Experience

Viewed from the standpoint of materiality, human life may appear to present a series of developments each one of which is fraught with some more or less painful experience. Through all its years age is considered a factor for either good or ill. How often is the question asked, "How old is he (or she)?" and, probably, according to the answer is the verdict pronounced of what may be anticipated, from the cutting of teeth in infancy to beliefs of loss beyond maturity. What a contrast to this is the statement made by Mrs. Eddy in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 66), "Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love"! If only each period of development in human life were anticipated with confident certainty of the truth of this statement, what suffering and discord would be avoided!

"I cannot do as I did ten years ago," is often the plaintive cry of one who is advancing in years. But does not the character of one's work and activity change as the years go by? Youth does not find it necessary to express activity in the games of childhood; neither is middle age called upon to take part in the athletics particularly pertaining to youth. But should either necessarily be less active in consequence? There are activities both mental and physical developed through experience, appeals for the exercise of which could only be made to greater maturity. Our Leader says, "Men and women of riper years and larger lessons ought to ripen into health and immortality, instead of lapsing into darkness or gloom" (Science and Health, p. 248). No need for maturity to caution youth: "Make the most of your school years. They are the happiest time, and all too short." Why should they be? Good is not limited; and each and every year has its joys ready to be unfolded to him who has eyes to see.

June 24, 1922

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