The Wheat and the Tares

The need of patience in solving problems is one of the many lessons that one is slow to learn; for the removal of the obstacle sometimes seems to us the only solution of any given problem. In the parable of the wheat and the tares, when the servants questioned the householder concerning the tares, saying, "Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?" the latter answered: "Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." When confronted with problems, are we not tempted with this same argument, namely, the desire to remove, rather than to overcome the obstacle?

In the home, in the office, in the schoolroom, or in the church, does not a circumstance sometimes present itself whereby one's freedom seems limited, his progress hampered, his happiness threatened by an opposing thought; and is not one's first thought the desire to be freed from it? Then do not criticism, resentment, and self-pity often demand entrance and indulgence? How alert and persistent one must be in shutting out these offending errors! The refusal to evade the winning of victory over evil, however distasteful the necessary effort may seem to be, and choosing to let "all things work together for good," if patiently and persistently maintained, transforms any seeming obstacle into an opportunity; and thereby one gains a firmer hold on the uses of good.

So-called hard problems and tight places, being in themselves undesirable, drive men for refuge to God; and there, "in the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings" as Mrs. Eddy tells us in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 15), is unfolded the needed and precious lesson of the supremacy of good. There one learns the wisdom of not forcing a demonstration, but of working patiently and trustingly until "the harvest," the hour of spiritual realization, when evil is seen as unreal and forsaken. Oftentimes, one must patiently pray to be enabled to recognize and lay off his self-inflicted bondage to some form of error or sin. Then he loses all satisfaction in its indulgence, and renounces it. Our Leader counsels (Ibid., p. 542), "Let Truth uncover and destroy error in God's own way, and let human justice pattern the divine." Ceasing to outline how good shall be manifested and willingly letting God's will govern all one's thinking releases one from a false sense of responsibility and opens the way for divine guidance. In the meantime, whatever compels one strictly to mind his own business and control his own thoughts is a great blessing.

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August 9, 1930

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