A sermon in a stone

I learned an important object lesson while removing a tree stump in our back yard several years ago. I started the job with some trepidation because the stump was solid red oak and ominously large. I went to work with my trusty chain saw, but each time I got deep into the heart of the stump, my blade would strike something hard—I feared a limestone boulder, prevalent in our neighborhood—that would dull it immediately and render it useless. I went through saw blade after saw blade, whittling only small slivers off the whole stump. 

This situation got me thinking about how I tackle what feels like insurmountable tasks in my experience. There’s a deep satisfaction found in achieving victory over a problem. How many challenges, though, would have us give up and give in? If we were to listen to and believe the “accepted wisdom” surrounding a particular disorder, work or family situation, or other challenge, we might be tempted to see it as too big for us to handle. Christian Science throws a different light on such a fear and turns it around with the question: How large is a lie? Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health: “The more difficult seems the material condition to be overcome by Spirit, the stronger should be our faith and the purer our love” (p. 410).

A bridge of angels
April 16, 2012

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