A Day's Journey

        In olden times it was customary to speak of the distance between one place and another as a day's journey, or it might be three days' journey. This of course meant the progress made by an individual or even a large number of persons traveling on foot. In modern times we are accustomed to speak of a day's work, but in either case we think of actual progress made in a given direction. In the book of Job we have a gloomy outline of human possibilities which culminates in this sad pronouncement: "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble." Little wonder that the text goes on to speak of mortal man as one whose only outlook is to "accomplish, as an hireling, his day."

         A modern hymn writer gives a higher tone to hope when she speaks of each stage of our earthly journey as "a day's march nearer home;" and it is surely well to learn how we can make every day count for so much that there will be no sorrowful retracing of steps and no barren regrets for wasted opportunities. In the second epistle of Peter we read: "Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." The psalmist also says of God, "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand." We cannot deny that it is our high privilege as children of the perfect Father to spend all our days with Him, and thus in applying the spiritual law of progression to make one day accomplish more for our own welfare and that of all mankind than a thousand days, yes, or even a thousand years.

         Mrs. Eddy gives us an explanation of the passage quoted from the second epistle of Peter when she says (Science and Health, p. 504): "The rays of infinite Truth, when gathered into the focus of ideas, bring light instantaneously, whereas a thousand years of human doctrines, hypotheses, and vague conjectures emit no such effulgence." While under a stressful sense of present human conditions we may often ask ourselves when the long dark night will end; and as we turn to the words of Christ Jesus for illumination we find that the same query was addressed to him, but his only reply was, "Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." We should not, however, forget that he added, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."

         Studied in the light of Christian Science the Master's words respecting the day and hour of complete deliverance from all evil seem to mean that long centuries of mortal belief might go on with little result toward the establishment of God's kingdom on the plane of human consciousness until men begin to lay hold upon the truth with a vital purpose and realize that no true progress is made except as we are "with the Lord," — one in desire and purpose with infinite Mind, the divine Principle of all real being. Our Master said distinctly that the evil days would be shortened "for the elect's sake," for that otherwise "there should no flesh be saved." We also find in the Apocalypse the assuring promise that there would be a sudden disappearing of all evil; that in "one hour" the divine judgment would uncover and destroy the iniquitous claim of a mind separate from God, which has long held the nations captive through the hypnotic arguments of material power and splendor.

         Here we must often remind ourselves that this glorious consummation is never a question of time or of anything which can be accomplished by the human mind, but that it depends wholly upon the spiritualization of thought which will enable us to see God unceasingly and to desire above all else to be with Him, — one in desire and effort with Truth and Love. Because of the vastness of the problem involved it is surely well for us to ponder ofttimes these words of our revered Leader on page 5 of "Unity of Good": "Every one should be encouraged not to accept any personal opinion on so great a matter, but to seek the divine Science of this question of Truth by following upward individual convictions, undisturbed by the frightened sense of any need of attempting to solve every Life-problem in a day." This does not, however, mean that there is any indefiniteness about the goal to be reached, and no one who is wise would allow himself to become apathetic concerning his duty to God and to humanity when the need for the highest Christian effort is so great.

         The call of Truth forever is: "To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." Today, if some intrenched belief of error, selfishness, self-will, appetite, or passion, is fearlessly faced and overcome, who knows how great may be the influence of this spiritual victory toward the triumph of right over wrong the whole world over. Whether taken as a day's work or a day's journey, it leads up to the spiritual height from which St. John heard these words: "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."


"A Day's Journey" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, January 26, 1918

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