On the Watch

The word "alert" is derived from the early French á l'erte, meaning "on the watch, properly (standing) on a height, where one can look around." It is defined as "Keenly watchful; ... ready to act on short notice." Alertness is, therefore, clearly opposed to a state of indolence, dullness, or sluggishness. To one student the idea of standing in an attitude of alertness and activity was inspiring and helpful, and thought recalled the many admonitions of the apostles to stand against the machinations of evil, as when Paul said, "Having done all, ... stand." In his letter to the Ephesians, he gives the command to pray "always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance." Standing on a height, watching and praying, surely is not a mental state with which indifference, apathy, or self-love can interfere.

Mrs. Eddy, our Leader, asks in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 176): "Are we duly aware of our own great opportunities and responsibilities? Are we prepared to meet and improve them, to act up to the acme of divine energy wherewith we are armored?" A young Christian Scientist was present in a high school class which had been asked a question requiring clear thinking on the part of each member. A prolonged silence followed the question; but the alert thought of the Scientist quickly realized that, as this question had been asked, surely its answer was in divine Mind, and that her real selfhood was the reflection of that Mind. At that moment her name was called, and, standing, she heard herself answering quite involuntarily, the reply eliciting high commendation from the instructor, while the student humbly returned grateful praise to omniscient Mind. Surely the imperious call for mental alertness sounding throughout our Leader's writings should awaken every student of Christian Science to consecrate thought on the great work of establishing the truth which is necessary to the salvation of himself and the world.

One of the most subtle and pernicious arguments of error is that of neglecting the daily study of the Lesson-Sermon in the Christian Science Quarterly. Business and social duties, family cares, drowsiness, all bear the mark of the enemy of progress and fruitfulness; and we are told in Mrs. Eddy's Message to The Mother Church for 1900 (p. 8) that "mental idleness or apathy is always egotism and animality." Soothing conscience by reading one or two sections each day, when all might be studied, is like accepting crumbs where a feast has been spread. We must exterminate self with its cares and indulgences if we would hope to progress far upon the height of watchfulness and win the reward of righteousness promised to the fervent heart and willing hand. The Manual of The Mother Church (pp. 40, 41, 42) clearly states three daily duties of the members of this church; and he who allows indifference, false pleasures, or love of ease to crowed these out of his daily round, should not repine because of delayed healing, unsuccessful business, or domestic inharmony, but should rouse himself to realize the fact that one receives of good in proportion to his obedience to all the requirements of the First Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

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"I love your promise"*
May 21, 1927

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