Growing and outgrowing
WHEN we came to live in our present house, I planted a clematis at the door and gave it a neat little trellis to grow on. Last summer it covered the whole of the front of the house with flowers right up to the roof, and even tried to make an extension trellis out of the telephone wires, leaving my inadequate provision for it truly outgrown. I asked myself if the plant wasn't teaching me something by its exuberance. Was I perhaps underestimating growth potential in a lot of other ways too, expecting too little of myself and everyone else? Was I supporting strongly enough new thrusting thoughts, especially the spiritual ones, which reflect the purity and love of the divine nature? Or was I chopping them back firmly if they didn't conform to my own established human sense of things? I thought about Christ Jesus referring to the mustard seed. He said of the kingdom of God: ``It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: but when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.'' 1 Even what appears, then, to be the most insignificant thought can have unlimited growth if it is spiritually based. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``The tree and herb do not yield fruit because of any propagating power of their own, but because they reflect the Mind which includes all.'' 2 The propagating power of the mustard seed is actually spiritual and not material. The same is true of genuine progress. It's impelled by divine Mind and not by matter or by human ingenuity or forcefulness. This Mind is God. It is infinite. It is wholly good. It is the only Mind there really is. It is vital, inexhaustible, continually producing and developing good. How do we benefit from this? By being receptive, through prayer, to the thoughts divine Mind imparts to man. What sort of thoughts? Pure, spirit ual, intelligent, loving, beautiful, active thoughts. Why don't we see more convincing evidence of Mind's propagating power? Because we tend to rely instead on what we call the human mind, which presupposes the separation of man from God. It represents man as a limited, mortal being, acting independently of God, generating his own creative power somewhat uncertainly, and often motivated by personal will, pride, and prejudice. If we adhere to such a view, we tend to reap the meager fruits of it. Small expectations, anxiety, and discouragement inhibit spiritual growth and progress, and human experience seems to lose its momentum. But our lives can be revitalized as we turn humbly and confidently to divine Mind in prayer for the fresh thoughts we need--not just to get some project off the ground but to glorify God by learning and demonstrating more of His free-flowering productivity. And with those God-derived thoughts will come the ongoing impulsion that will help us cultivate them to their fullest capacity. Everything thrives with more spiritual tending. Outgrown fears and preconceptions can be quickly left behind, and we can begin to think bigger--think from an unlimited, spiritual basis--not for self-aggrandizement but to do more justice to the creativity of Mind, which man reflects. And this is what we are meant to be doing if we are to follow the shining example of the mustard seed and the clematis. 1 Mark 4:31, 32. 2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 507.