Updated: Jun 20, 2022
“The time for thinkers has come,” is one of Mary Baker Eddy’s iconic quotes for Christian Scientists. Mrs. Eddy talks about how to handle the past and the future in two paragraphs in the preface of Science and Health. "It is the task of the sturdy pioneer to hew the tall oak and to cut the rough granite. Future ages must declare what the pioneer has accomplished" (SH vii:23). Her frankness comes through as she calls on those spiritual thinkers, like you and me, to toss out “time-honored systems,” “contentment with the past,” and “ignorance of God.” Have you ever continued to do something because “that’s the way it’s always been done?” She’s rallying humanity not just to empty these vessels of false thought, but to fill them up by knowing and understanding God, who is our constant guide and friend.
Mrs. Eddy speaks of the scientific healer’s, the pioneer’s, job as chopping the big oaks and cutting the coarse granite, two jobs that are not just labor intensive, but foundation building. Metaphysically speaking, chopping the big oaks of “time–honored systems,” requires fresh spiritual insight. Does our pioneer work ever stop? The pioneer’s purpose is to clear obstacles in thought and prepare the way for the next right idea. We’ve all been a pioneer for one thing or another, so no, being a pioneer does not stop. Some roads are clearer than others, so what does the next person who picks up the spiritual axe of Truth down the road get to do? “Future ages must declare what the pioneer has accomplished.” The next person down the cleared road affirms the path, by standing firm, rejoicing in Truth, and pointing the way. This may seem harder than that simple sentence asserts, but it is possible!
Jesus cleared the path for his disciples and for each of us to walk down. Humanly, it wasn’t easy for Jesus to clear the obstacles of hatred and fear, and it was no cake walk for the disciples to follow and declare what they witnessed and what it did for them.
Why is it important to walk the path of spiritual understanding, and affirm and demonstrate it? A path that is not well-used will need another to come and clear it to prepare it for the next. Mary Baker Eddy was a pioneer as well, clearing the way for Christian Science and bringing that truth to light. It’s important to stay the course, continue on the path, and pronounce what Christian Science has accomplished, because it makes us followers of the great Master, Christ Jesus.
Continue to think about this theme as we get ready for The Leaves 2022 Annual Meeting.