Right Forgetting

A TREE of a variety unsuitable for street planting was found to be sending multitudinous root fibers throughout the surrounding soil, sapping the moisture, impoverishing the ground, and overshadowing shrubbery and flowers in the adjoining gardens. It was necessary to cut the tree down. This left the stump; and days of digging and chopping followed to loosen it and destroy the entire root system. When this was accomplished, the question arose, How is the stump to be disposed of? It was far too heavy to lift by any ordinary means; and the process of removal would entail much labor and expense. Then someone happily proposed the simple remedy: Bury it where it lies! With joy this method was adopted. The stump was buried, and the disturbed patch speedily filled in. Creeping vines were planted there, order prevailed, and the adjacent gardens flourished as they had not done for years. The significance of this experience is interesting in its application to mental problems when the solution seems delayed. It gives new light on Jesus' admonition to the hesitant disciple, "Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead."

The Psalmist said, perhaps both rebuking and encouraging himself, "And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee." What are we waiting for? Have we done all we could to destroy a sense of evil, to correct a wrong situation? Have we worked and prayed and yet apparently come to a standstill? Have we had some afflictive experience and perhaps learned to forgive; but is the demonstration still incomplete because the memory of our trial is so vivid? Are we still tormented by the remembrance of some mistake which we cannot now rectify, or stung by what we feel to have been unmerited censure? Have we analyzed the situation honestly, being willing to learn, willing to be justly rebuked, willing to forgive, bravely determined to do right as far as we see it? Then who or what is suggesting that the work is inadequate? If it has been faithfully done, the results will assuredly appear; so we have only to maintain that God's work is finished, and then rest in this affirmation.

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"Put thought into words"
June 22, 1929
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