The writer had long prided herself on being especially resourceful. This quality had been cultivated for years, probably having had its inception in a visit when a young girl to friends who believed greatly in their own resourcefulness. These friends lived on a large farm; they were known as frugal; and it was a matter of satisfaction with them that a purchase was never made if there was anything about the place that could be utilized instead. The expedients that were resorted to were a source of wonderment and admiration; and in the following years every effort was made to develop along the same lines. In every task, if the right article were not at hand, what was called resourcefulness was brought into play, with the result that the task was accomplished, though not always in what might be termed the best way. It was only lately that the writer was enabled to see that the process of training to which she had subjected herself was one of limitation rather than of freedom. The awakening came about in the following manner.

An extension was made to a little cabin in the woods. There was a great sense of limitation to start with. About half the necessary quantity of lumber was ordered, with the thought that in place of roofing the structure with lumber, the cost would be reduced by using canvas. Canvas was procured, but did not prove waterproof; so, bringing into play the prided resourcefulness, it was determined to cover the canvas with roofing paper, while knowing that wooden roofing was the only right one to use. The tar paper was applied, but the canvas permitted it to sag and collect water; and after a while the last state of the roof was worse than the first. By this time more money had been spent than would have laid the wooden roofing in the first instance. The entire structure had ultimately to be rebuilt in the proper manner. In thinking over this incident, it was seen that it was merely a repetition on a larger scale of what had been going on for a long period, and that a great deal of time, and effort, and money had been consumed during the past years in planning and executing what were really makeshifts, under the belief that divine Principle was being demonstrated.

It is necessary here to differentiate clearly between the words "makeshift" and "thrift." Thrift is a commendable characteristic. It means economical management, industry, economy; and we are told by our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, in Article XXIV, Section 5, of the Church Manual, that "God requires wisdom, economy, and brotherly love to characterize all the proceedings of the members of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist." Thrift does not permit of waste, superfluous expenditure, or extravagance. Thrift implies orderliness, wisely directed activity, and conservation. The makeshifts that all the years had been restored to, under the impression that ingenuity and resourcefulness were being shown, were seen to have been but temporary expedients with little or nothing to commend them, restored to, principally, because of a sense of fear and a belief in lack.

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"Wholesome chastisements"
May 5, 1923

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