Two students of Christian Science, while out walking, came to a bridge. One of them decided to use the bridge; the other, attracted by the rustic beauty and the little stream, decided to go down the path beside the bridge into a ravine. But the way which had looked so easy grew increasingly difficult and the footing more uncertain, while the probability of a slide down the rough bank, through the slightest misstep, was so great as to destroy all the expected pleasure. The other side was eventually reached with a sense of relief.

This incident was seen to be illustrative of a mental experience which the student was even then going through. Having descended so easily into a valley that seemed all pleasantness and peace, she found it to be, instead, a valley of personal sense, reached through clinging to personality. Our Leader tells us (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 308) that "intensely contemplating personality impedes spiritual growth." This was proved to be true. Though the pathe seemed rough and steep, the climb out of this mental valley taught the student many valued lessons. It brought, too, renewed gratitude for Christian Science, which gives us strength for the climb, and something to cling to when the way is steep, our footing uncertain, and we seem about to slip. At one stage in the journey, when the student's strength seemed inadequate to continue the upward way, the spiritual message that was given to Paul brought her untold peace and comfort: "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."

On page 66 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy has told us that "trials are proofs of God's care." This trial proved the truth of our Leader's statement in that it brought a great awakening. But it was seen, too, that an earnest, active heeding of her counsel would have provided a bridge for the crossing of this valley, and that there is no valley of depression or materiality, of sickness or sin, that cannot be safely bridged by the application and demonstration of the truth as taught in Christian Science. It is for us to choose between the experience of the ravine of wrong thinking and the bridge of spiritualized thinking. Only by faithfully and habitually choosing the higher way over seemingly small valleys can we hope to reach the full consciousness of eternal harmony.

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No Separation
December 13, 1930

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