Life is what we are alive to

It is the material that is the transient, the temporary; and the mental and spiritual that is the real and the eternal. We must not become slaves to habit. The material alone can never bring happiness—much less satisfaction. These lie deeper.

Abundance of life is determined not alone by one's material possessions, but primarily by one's riches of mind and spirit. A world of truth is contained in these words: "Life is what we are alive to. It is not a length, but breadth. To be alive only to appetite, pleasure, mere luxury or idleness, pride or money-making, and not to goodness and kindness, purity and love, history, poetry, and music, flowers, God and eternal hopes, is to be all but dead."

Why be so eager to gain possession of the hundred thousand or the half-million acres, of so many millions of dollars? Soon, and it may be before you realize it, all must be left. It is as if a man made it his ambition to accumulate a thousand or a hundred thousand automobiles. All soon will become junk. But so it is with all material things beyond what we can actually and profitably use for our good and the good of others—and that we actually do so use.

A man can eat just so many meals during the year or during life. If he tries to eat more he suffers thereby. He can wear only so many suits of clothing; if he tries to wear more, he merely wears himself out taking off and putting on. Again it is as Jesus said: "For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his own life?" And right there is the crux of the whole matter. All the time spent in accumulating these things beyond the reasonable amount, is so much taken from the life—from the things of the mind and the spirit. It is in the development and the pursuit of these that all true satisfaction lies.

We have made wonderful progress; or rather have developed wonderful skill in connection with things. We need now to go back and catch up the thread and develop like skill in making the life.


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