Watching One Hour

Many times, when reading the account of Jesus' last night in the garden of Gethsemane, thought has been stirred by the desertion of those to whom he turned for help, and to whom he had given so freely and fully of the "bread of life." Having chosen the three who best understood the truth he taught, he returned from his watching to find them asleep. Then he said to them, "Could ye not watch with me one hour?" They were apparently unmindful of their wonderful opportunity to feel the inspiration of that hour of victory, as well as to support the great friend of mankind in his testing time.

Then one asks himself: Could I have done any better, or even as well, had the same opportunity been mine? Have I been so faithful in watching, with the truth that has illumined consciousness through the study of Christian Science, that I can judge another? Pondering these questions deeply, we recall what Mrs. Eddy says in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 330), "It is good to talk with our past hours, and learn what report they bear, and how they might have reported more spiritual growth." How we wish we had watched more faithfully when some gleam of inspiration has come to us, some clearer realization has illumined our vision! We are also made glad as we recall the victories that have been ours, when we have watched with a new recognition of His allness; for we have then seen the manifestation of the power of God, good.

The writer's first experience of this kind was on a morning some months after the study of Christian Science was begun, when it was necessary to reach a distant point of the city. The day was glorious, and the desire to walk was great; but fear of the consequences of doing so seemed greater, as walking had formerly brought on hours, if not days, of suffering. While trying to decide what to do, the text from Isaiah came to thought, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee." This verse had been learned in childhood, but had never contained any especial message until this particular moment. Then began in thought a scientific process of separating the real from the unreal: If I am kept in peace, I am not in pain: there is no pain in peace, and there is no peace in pain. Now the promise is for peace; so I can claim the peace, and rely on God's promise to take care of the situation. Meanwhile, the walking had continued as this was being thought out; and it was found that a considerable part of the distance had been passed and the fear had gone. The remaining distance was covered without any sense of fatigue.

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May 12, 1923

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