Timely Action

In the parable of the tares and the wheat, as recorded in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew, impetuosity and untimely action receive a merited rebuke. The overzealous servants, discovering the tares sown by the enemy, asked, "Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?" But the householder, wiser than they, replied: "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 repers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." Thus did Jesus teach that there is a proper time for every activity, and that a right deed done at the wrong moment may prove harmful rather than helpful.

That our alert Leader also recognized the importance of timeliness in word and deed is evidenced both in her life and in her works. She once said to members of her household, "The right thing done at the wrong time is no longer the right thing" (Mary Baker Eddy: A Life Size Portrait, by Dr. Lyman P. Powell, p. 227). And her own well-ordered day proved that she lived according to this dictum. Praying constantly for God's guidance, she weighed questions wisely, and then at the right time put her decisions into operation. As a result, her life is remarkable as one of vast and unique accomplishment.

Timely action is the outcome of obedience to divine Love; and since the law of Love knows no extremes, haste, or procrastination, impatience and indolence have no place in God's plan. In the one Mind every right activity is divinely directed, and each idea expresses orderly fulfillment. Hence man, expressing the one intelligence, cannot be mesmerized by mortal suggestions, such as rashness or apathy, confusion and indecision. He exists in a state of true readiness, readiness which implies dominion and poise; and because such a state of consciousness impels no hurry and brooks no delay it leads to divinely directed accomplishment.

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Independence and Dependence
April 28, 1934

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