“Every Man in His Place”
by Myrtle T. Sutherland
The Bible tells that the young Gideon and his small band of followers were about to encounter a formidable army: “The Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.” (Judges)
Gideon had a band of only three hundred men left from an original number of thirty-two thousand. Those who were afraid were sent home; and from the remaining ten thousand, God directed Gideon to test them and choose only those who were mentally trustworthy. At the crossing of a stream, he observed that some stooped down to the water to drink. But the three hundred scooped up the water in their hands and drank, using their eyes to keep watch while doing so, proving their alertness.
The remarkable accomplishment of this group is set forth in the remainder of the story: “And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.” Further we read, “And Gideon came to Jordon, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them.” The record closes with the account of the complete defeat of the enemy.
Today mankind finds it just as necessary to stand “every man in his place” in the battle with material sense. We must reject the materiality which would keep us always stooping down to drink the waters of mere comfort in the senses. We must keep on overcoming error, even when mortal sense would try to make us believe that we are faint. This rejection of material sense, this standing, this overcoming, is possible only through reliance upon God, just as Gideon’s triumph could only have occurred as a result of obedience to God.
Material sense would have insisted that Gideon and his three hundred were destined to fight a losing battle. But it is material sense that is always fighting a losing battle! As the Preacher commented, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill.”
Though the place where we stand may appear insignificant, monotonous, or even dangerous, with the truths of Christian Science, we may begin at once to free ourselves from its false claims. Man’s only real place is his place in the divine Mind. He is inseparable from his own identity, his own clear, distinct, perfectly distinguished individuality. There is no confusion between his identity and that of any other of God’s ideas. God knows His own ideas, and is constantly sustaining the perfect spiritual performance and functioning of each idea. Each idea is spiritually significant, spiritually effective, spiritually articulate. Not one idea can ever be suppressed, oppressed, repressed, or depressed. Each is spiritually expressed.
To dwell on such truths means destruction to the Midianites and Amalekites of mortality.