A lump of coal in the sock of supplication instead of a spiritual blessing? A rivulet of sincere and hope-filled prayers which peters out ineffectually on mortal mind's dry alluvial plain? If so, it is easy to become discouraged, or at least begin puttering about dispiritedly, while letting aggressive mental suggestions, instead of God, sit in the catbird seat.
I have wondered more than once, regrettably not to my bitter enough chagrin, why I have even once thought I could scale the heights of heaven with less time spent in prayer than Christ Jesus or Mary Baker Eddy. When error's skirmish line of adversity is advancing on one's lethargically defended position is not the time to chase one's tail in a tizzy, wondering how to get the pin out of his Scientific grenade. If we are always as obedient to God as we know how, we are increasingly semper fidelis and semper paratus--and thus under His loving protection.
Prayer, watching, and working are always, Mrs. Eddy tells us, required for growth in grace, and the onset of error's flood tide is not the time to dust off the life-boat kit and begin reading the instructions for assembly. Christ Jesus and Mrs. Eddy are both very clear on the necessity for and how of spiritual progress. The Bible and writings of Mrs. Eddy will not keep the false claims of mortal mind at bay if they are only used as impromptu scotches at the bottom of our mental doors.
Notes: Phoenix AZ wondered if I meant "grisly", not "gristly", in a recent entry. I meant gristly, implying that most of us beware of evil's worst excesses and gristly temptations, but may still find some pleasant, and tempting, vistas in the devil's south forty.
Thank you to LowlyWise for comments on the Pierian springs and for offering some other relevant lines from Pope's Essay on Criticism.
A reader commented on the shortness of some entries. I do the best I can with the time available. Even two paragraphs can take three or so hours to wrestle into some kind of presentability. Most of us are not born writers, and the scope of this little enterprise is also necessarily limited. Yes, Samuel Johnson filled up his "Rambler" [the italics has gone on holiday again] every week, but I am certainly no Dr. Johnson, and he at least gave himself unlimited elbow room to discuss any topic which struck his fancy. I would rather have 25 readers spend one engaging minute here than one reader spend 25 soporific minutes on a dull screed. I try in my way to make this as, some wag suggested, like a woman's skirt: short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject (however scantily).