Letting God Outline
From the May 12, 1917 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel by William D. McCrackan
Outlining materially robs life of elasticity and hedges it about with limitations. It places every individual and every undertaking in a frame of matter from which escape is difficult; moreover, this habit is scientifically and Christianly unsound, because God, Spirit, really does all the outlining and does it for the best. In the Glossary of Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy, under the heading “Mind” we read, “Deity, which outlines but is not outlined” (p. 591). Yet how persistent is the attempt of mortals to belittle man, thus restricting their friends, their own capabilities, their business enterprises, their sources of income, their spiritual progress, and their careers, by seeking to establish hard and fast material conditions which stifle spiritual spontaneity.
From birth itself the child is subjected to a process of being outlined, both with reference to the past and the future. The color of the eyes and hair, the temperament and special aptitudes, are linked to ancestral conditions; the prospects of success in a profession or a trade are made the subject of prophecy for the future, and so the child encased in this mental frame begins the role of living a human life. If the prophecy were strictly scientific, it would place the child in the arms of a heavenly Father-Mother God, and a glorious unfoldment would then be possible, endowing the child with gifts of grace and beauty, talent and power, and out of this would grow a fearless human, not designed for suffering, but for the sunshine of spiritual joy, developing evermore into the likeness of perfection. We read on page 63 of Science and Health: “In Science man is the offspring of Spirit. The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry.” In Science man’s future is just as definitely assured as is his divine origin.
Christian Science does not teach that human beings should not make their moves, but that these moves should be in accordance with God’s outlining and not with the world’s. Christian Scientists can be conscious through inspiration that, as Mrs. Eddy writes on page 506 of Science and Health, “Spirit, God, gathers unformed thoughts into their proper channels, and unfolds these thoughts, even as He opens the petals of a holy purpose in order that the purpose may appear.”
Shall, then, the right activities of men be made to fit into imaginary outlines, or shall they be permitted to burst the bounds of mortal thinking under the impulsion of divine inspiration? This question presents the old struggle, so familiar in all that men do, between their ideals and the supposed restrictions of material belief. This shows itself in the contradiction between the writer and the proof room, between art and the box office, between an idea and the attempt to impose conditions upon that which God has made. The business man need not permit fear to outline his business for him and eventually suppress it altogether. Through the understanding of Christian Science he may learn to outdo himself. What are generally called business principles are frequently disastrous because of their tendency to fix fast and bind hand and foot that which needs freedom above everything else. The desire to prearrange and predetermine materially springs from lack of trust in God.
A saving movement like that of Christian Science advances upon the wings of revelation and inspiration. The intuitive inspiration of woman is essential to it. No youth can mature, no nation can prosper, no just movement can succeed which disregards woman’s particular powers or presses her into the background. The culminating moment in the raising of Lazarus was when Jesus commanded, “Loose him, and let him go.” This was the power of God using Jesus to outline the truth for Lazarus. Today Christian Science is repeating this saying in behalf of every child, man, and woman; every nation is hearing this cry of resurrection, of freedom, and of obedience to God. A tremendous undercurrent of spirituality inspired by a woman’s discovery is bursting through the crust of human selfishness and conceit, liberating the pent up hopes of the millions, breaking barriers, and wiping away the outlines drawn by the carnal mind, in order that those may prevail which have been determined by Deity, with whom all things are possible.