Let’s suppose you’re a gardener—maybe you are!—and have worked to cultivate a lovely and productive garden. But unbeknownst to you, the wind has blown some small seeds of a particularly aggressive weed into the soil. Would you expect that those seeds wouldn’t begin the germinating process? A process that would eventually lead into the full growth of a plant that could dominate your garden, destroying and choking the plants that you valued and had taken so much care to nurture?
And let’s say that you were aware—to whatever degree—of those seeds having come into the fertile soil, would you pretend they weren’t there or think that nothing would come of them? Obviously, you’d busily get about removing them regardless of the state of germination they were in. At least if you wanted a fruitful harvest!
Then why would any of us knowingly allow the seeds of error to sit around in our consciousness? Why would we naively think that they can go unattended—that somehow if they’re not blatantly destructive and immediately threatening, they would just sit there benignly doing nothing? Not germinating. Not sending their roots deep into our thought adversely affecting our experience. Why would we agree or acquiesce to such a fallacy?
Yet I encounter quite a few folks—often life-long Christian Scientists—who have done just that. They have thought it unimportant to attend to those seeds of error—even though on some level, even peripherally, they were aware of their presence. They felt they weren’t worth the effort—that they wouldn’t have any negative effect or consequences in their lives. That those errors would just sit there politely waiting perhaps to be called up someday to be dealt with.
But that’s not the nature of error. It’s always destructive. And it is always sending its noxious, silent fumes throughout our experience. Are those vapors always immense or immediately obvious? No, but therein lies the danger. They are at work busily seeking to keep us mesmerized, to keep us apathetic. To keep us from successfully healing ourselves and others to the degree that we’re truly capable of!
Now before anyone objects and says “But error’s not real and has no power to harm or act!” let me say that of course it isn’t real, yet it is undeniably destructive if we don’t handle it with the truth of scientific Christianity. All we need do is look around and see what unhandled error—evil—has and is doing to humanity throughout the world.
So let’s say we recognize seeds that have been left alone—perhaps for decades—what can we do? Is it too late?
The Apostle Paul wrote these words to Timothy:
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (II Tim 4:2)
In or out of season—immediately perceived or recognized after the fact—we can uproot these lies that would attempt to deface the tablet of our being. That would attempt to keep us enslaved under error’s thrall. We each and every one of us have been given by Almighty God the ability, dominion, and power to uproot and overthrow error in all of its forms. And time—proximity to when we first recognized the error—does not enter into this as time is a fabrication of error to begin with, hence Paul’s instruction to be instant out of season, also.
We need to persevere in rooting out these seeds and weeds and not think that a meager attempt to deal with them will be sufficient. We have to be thorough.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote in an article titled “Fidelity”:
The weeds of mortal mind are not always destroyed by the first uprooting; they reappear, like devastating witch-grass, to choke the coming clover. O stupid gardener! watch their reappearing, and tear them away from their native soil, until no seedling be left to propagate — and rot. (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 343)
I don’t know about you, but it seems like a good idea not to fall into that category of being a stupid gardener—and get to work instead!