Marking Time

In the preparation for the life of a soldier there is many a lesson which, if viewed from the standpoint of one unversed in soldiery, might appear to be of very little if of any importance. Such a lesson is the performance known as marking time. This practice is defined as keeping the time of a marching step by moving the feet alternately without advancing, or, to speak more succinctly, to be active without progression. Few mere onlookers would imagine that much executive ability in the way of real marching would be gained by such apparently aimless procedure.

How frequently, however, does the Christian Scientist, in his demonstration of the truth of being, find himself called upon, at least metaphorically, to mark time; and he is indeed wise if he is willing to recognize the necessity and go patiently to work, that he may bring his steps into that orderly dominion and control which will enable him to go forward properly when he finally receives the order, Forward, march!

When the glorious possibilities of this Science first dawn upon us, we are apt to rush forward, imagining that because some measure of the revelation of its perfection has been vouchsafed us we are quite ready to advance rapidly to the winning of all victories. When, however, we find ourselves halted by some apparent lack of demonstration, we may berate ourselves severely for what we deem our own fault, or we may fretfully complain because of what we consider another's untoward influence. Often the difficulty has been occasioned because we have gone forward without proper consideration of the steps to be taken. If one were doing a simple example in mathematics, he would understand that each point in the problem must be worked out with due care or the result would not be satisfactory. Even the slightest problem in Christian Science demands equally careful attention to every point that must be covered in order that a correct solution may be reached. Christian Science encourages the student to adopt the mental attitude which Isaiah advocated when he declared, "Thus saith the Lord God, ... he that believeth shall not make haste." Conscious of the omnipresent guidance of the divine Mind, we know that nothing can be lost by taking each step patiently and securely. Indeed, this method is the sure way to avoid dilemmas and disasters. Marking time unders such circumstances implies the readiness to keep thought patiently active, as well as a willingness to wait for a forward move until we are sure that divine intelligence has given the word to advance. Our God is not a hard taskmaster, and His children need never believe that they will be pushed or prodded into activity, since Mind always provides ample opportunity that there may be due preparation for and rightly controlled progressive action.

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May 12, 1928

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