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The Unused Talent

Jesus' parable about the one talent that the man hid in the ground is relevant to all aspects of human activity. Mary Baker Eddy says, "If 'faithful over a few things,' we shall be made rulers over many; but the one unused talent decays and is lost" (SH 323:17). Is everything that decays and is lost the effect of an unused talent? A clue can be found in one of Mrs. Eddy's comments to a practitioner who came to her with a case she was unable to heal concerning a person suffering from bronchial trouble. "What are bronchial tubes for?" was Mrs. Eddy's question to the woman. "Then she answered her own question, 'They are to be used to sing praises to the Lord, and for nothing else.'"1 The only logical conclusion is that bronchial tubes, enlisted to sing praises to the Lord, cannot decay or be lost.

Interpolating this idea to all organic form and functions of the body and to all aspects of human endeavor, we discover why it is that we have all the difficulties of this world. Any suggestion that is not a thought of God is buried in the sand of a finite belief; therefore, it must decay and be lost because mistaken beliefs have no truth to sustain them. We get sick because we believe that we can bury the Son of God in the clay of mortal man and suppress truth into a state of dormancy. But, "Error of thought is reflected in error of action" (SH 550:15). Favoring of a lie, we face a bewildering array of suggestions, all of which serve to drown out the "still small voice." Lacking absolute confidence in our choices, we become the despondent ones. Mary Baker Eddy warns, "To all that is unlike unerring and eternal Mind, this Mind saith, 'Thou shalt surely die'" (SH 277:2). We may ask, 'What shall be left of me after all that decays is lost?' Mrs. Eddy's warning is not a death knell, but a wake-up call. The death sentence hanging over man's every selfish act should be enough to convince him of his mistake in burying his spiritual inheritance. If the premise of a mortal man had been laughed away as a ridiculous notion when it was first introduced, we would see ourselves multiplying in heaven instead of weeping over earthly losses. In whatever condition we find ourselves in this world, be assured that evil has no talent to offer, and the truth of being is still true.

The Lord's condemnation of the wicked and slothful servant was not meant to signify punishment of a person but was meant to put to death a position of indifference caused by a hidden hatred of Truth. Paul assured us that "the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (I Cor 15:26). He was able to make this radical statement because he had learned that Life is infinite; therefore death is out of the question. Since Life cannot be lost, man's greatest fear - that of being a treasure soon to be buried in the earth - is banished from consciousness. It is the belief of death that must decay and be lost because it is forever unused - buried in the dust of fiction.

He that embraces Life, God, to the best of his ability, proves his faith - "The time has come for a finite conception of the infinite" (SH 285:17). We hear the risen Christ repeat the glad tiding, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matt 25:21).

1 Divinity Course and General Collectanea, p. 247

George Denninger ©

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