THE ROAD TO HAPPINESS
A COLD, blustery wind came down the avenue carrying everything before it. It was a terrifically cold wind, one that made the telephone wires literally sing and snap with tension. It had a sting in it like the lash of a whip, and made you think unpleasant things. It was just this particular kind of wind that painted everybody's nose red and ears purple. You halfway hated yourself without a cause; you sort of wished you had migratory sense to move with the sun, instead of so-called human intellect that tried to bluff an impossible game.
At the corner Jimsy, the newsboy, was struggling against almost insupportable odds to keep his stock in trade under control. The wind laughed at him as it stung his half frozen face, and snatched a paper from his hands, tossing it to the top of the tallest building. He blew on his purple, benumbed fingers and cursed the whole thing.
"Damn it, anyway, dis is a fine day for the day before Christmas, but," he went on talking into his hands, "what difference does it make to me, whether it is the day before Christmas or the day before Fourth of July? It's all de same to me - 'cept, perhaps, I gits a free meal, fer nothin', at the hall with the other nuts. But nobody cares really fer me, where I comes or goes." All the grey of the leaden sky settled about him mentally; the whole thing seemed so futile and useless: - what was it all about? - just work and barely enough money for a bed and a scant meal or two.
Slumbering in the soul of Jimsy was a wistful longing for something better and nobler than his present existence - an innate longing for some of the good things of life. Sometimes he almost heard it speak to him, and he longed to find the secret spring that would be the "open sesame" to all he desired. He knew that it was there, yet undiscovered. Everywhere he sought for light. He listened to the Socialist speaker tell about how everything should be divided and then all would be happy; but inwardly he knew this was not the happiness he sought. At the slum mission he heard them say "It is more blessed to give than to receive," at the same time shoving a collection basket in his face. He rather resented this sort of teaching. How could he give, when it took every cent he could make to buy his papers, pay for a poor living, and supply him with a cheap bed. Still, the mission was generally warm, and after the ordeal of the collection basket he could stand the rest.
And so, on this very day, he stood there in the blustery wind pondering this very sentence, "It is more blessed to give than to receive," "It's a cinch I'll not be much blessed," he soliloquized, "but it's not my fault; I ain't got nothing to give with." The heart of Jimsy was big, it yearned for expression, it was a loving heart that wanted to do for others. Just like the great blue eyes that begged for understanding, his heart longed for that freedom to do and to be. After having reasoned himself into the depths of despair, he turned on his reason and with a bitter smile said, "Aw, well,it's an ill wind that blows nobody good." Hardly had he uttered the words when out of the last gust of stinging wind a little booklet dropped on his stand. "Hello," he said, "what's dis? - it must be the 'good' and I must be the 'nobody.'"
"The Road to Happiness," he read out loud, taking the book up, and opening it he began to read. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Jimsy had heard this many times, and had passed it buy without a thought, but to-day it somehow or other stuck with him; it held his attention, and so he read on:
"Rome was not built in a day, neither can a man buy one thought think himself a king and attain that place. Wherever this finds you in life - start by taking the next upward step, be it ever so small. Then, step by step, you can climb to any height.
"For the first step suppose you try thinking happiness; start your progress with a happy thought; change your frowns into smiles, your bad words into good. If you half the faith that you can be absolutely happy right here and now, that you have in your present unhappy situation, you have succeeded with the first step.
"Be happy in spite of weather, ancestors, or circumstances. Happiness is like oil on the axle of a wagon, it keeps it from wearing away. So happiness will keep your life from becoming a grind. Remember - one step at a time. To-day let us try happiness."
Jimsy read the page over carefully; he saw the logic of it; he knew that he could change his thought if he so desired, and perhaps it would be the beginning of the upward climb to something better. "Be happy in spite of weather . . . or circumstances . . . Happiness is like oil." He half smiled to himself as he read this; he wondered if the writer of this little book had ever stood on a windy street corner and handed out papers to a growling, scolding public, which thought no more of you than it did of the box on which your papers lay.
* * *
The nearby subway belched forth its stream of hurrying, disgruntled passengers. As they came up the damp, smelly stairway and out into the street, His Nibs the wind was there waiting to snatch away their hats and breath and make them unhappy if possible. He waited there to sting them in the face and make them cross (like bears are supposed to be).
"Whoopes, she's colder than a seven hundred dollars," said his first customer, peering out of a great fur-collared coat. I hate this kind of beastly day." Jimsy was just about ready, through force of habit, to second the remark when he remembered the book - "Start your progress with a happy thought." "Well," he said, making change, "it's colder at the North Pole, I guess," and smiled up at the man. "It sure does make your blood circulate, this kind of day does." The man stopped a moment and looked at Jimsy; he looked at the purple, half-frozen fingers, and smiling back at the boy said, "Well, if you've got no room for complaint, surely I haven't," and hooking his great fur collar, he went away chuckling to himself, unmindful of the wind.
Later in the day a limousine drew up to the curb, and a little grey lady called out, "Here, boy, bring me a paper." When Jimsy came with the paper she took it, saying, "If this isn't the nastiest day I ever saw! If I were a man, I'd surely swear." The last gust of wind, which had disturbed the little lady so, had not helped Jimsy to keep his resolution to be happy; rather, he felt like cussing for the little lady, but he turned to her and said, "Well, it is kind of cold, but think how you'll like your nice warm fire when you get home."
"A warm fire," repeated the little lady, looking at the large blue eyes smiling up at her. There was a queer sort of pity and love in her glance, and smiling back at the boy standing there in the cold, she said, "Well, come to think of it, a fire does feel pretty good this kind of weather."
And so through the whole long, cold day Jimsy kept turning frowns into smiles; he began to see how many smiles he could get from his customers; he began to count those who had come up half mad at the whole world, and who had gone away with a smile; and at night when he sought out his cheap lodging house he felt an inward thrill that he had accomplished something. He felt that he had taken the first step up the ladder that was to lead him out of this dark pit of circumstance. He proved not only that "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he," but also that "As a man thinketh in his heart, so are all other men" who come into contact with him.
On the next page of the little book Jimsy read:
"All things are possible to him who believes in an absolute, positive Good. Believe, and it shall be so; ask, and it shall be given; ask, believing that all that you desire will be given you, for good is all about you, waiting to be spoken into manifestation, to be asked for.
"Why seek ye a God that is afar off, when the Living God who is able to do 'exceeding abundant, more than we ask or think,' is right at hand, waiting to bless?"
Jimsy had never prayed nor asked for anything. He only bowed his head when they prayed at the mission. The preacher always did the praying; he was the only one who knew how to get in touch with the God who was away off yonder in the skies. Jimsy never even thought of so much as trying to pray - he knew that he could never find the God who was away off somewhere with the angels - but the book said, "Why seek ye a God that is afar off when the Living God, who is able to do all things, is right at hand, waiting to bless?" Then somewhere also in the little book it explained that since all good things came from heaven, the inward desire of every living being to be better and nobler, to give and help the less fortunate brother, was but the "still, small voice" of truth trying to make itself manifest in us, only we stood in our own way, we went on trying to arrange and force conclusions rather than leaving our lives completely to the will of God, Good.
Jimsy felt rather ashamed as he read on and on in the little book; he remembered the voice that spoke so often, half pleading with him to do this or that, and how it had been drowned in his belief in circumstances and conditions. Then the little book said that within every man lay the possibility of being that which he desired to be; but as surely as it took proper care and attention to bring the mighty oak tree out of the tiny acorn, so it took care, good thoughts, willingness to be led as a little child, good words and deeds to draw the perfect man out of the limited human concept of him.
That night when Jimsy was ready to climb into his fifteen-cent bed, for the first time in his life he knelt down and prayed. He gave thanks for the little book; he gave thanks for the happy day; and last he asked with the heart of a child, "Give me, dear God, a nice warm fire and a little love."
The next day was not much of an improvement. It was blustery and cold, but the heart of Jimsy sang on, it thrilled with a certain something, it felt as free as if a great responsibility had suddenly been lifted. He felt a careless abandonment, verging on recklessness, but which was stayed by perfect Faith. Looking over his papers, he smiled to himself. "Nothing has changed," he said, "still everything has changed." He kept repeating to himself, "I believe, I believe."
The clock over in the church chimed out ten when the limousine with the little lady drew up to the curb. "Come here, boy," she said. "If you haven't a good warm fire and a nice hot dinner to go home to to-day, I want you to come home with me." Jimsy lifted his large blue eyes to her and said, "I'll go, and thank you, thank you so." Picking up his three remaining papers, he got in with the little lady, and away they flew through the "nasty, cold wind," all housed in the sweet-smelling, electrically-heated limousine.
Pretty soon they stopped in front of a comfortable looking old house on the park, and Jimsy followed the little lady through a hall and into a great, comfortable living room, at one end of which blazed a merry fire. "My boy, " said the lady, coming up to him and putting her arms about his shoulders, "it did not mean much to me until yesterday; you made me stop a moment and be grateful, and so I am sharing with you. It is more blessed to give than to receive," she said to him, and Jimsy knew now what it meant to "give" - not a little money, but a little smile, a little cheer, a little love.
As they sat there before the great fire, the door opened, and the man in the great coat with the fur collar came in. The lady rose to greet him. "Well, mother," he said, not noticing Jimsy, who was buried in a huge armchair near the fire, "our little 'happy lad' newsboy had gone. A boy who can smile and be pleasant in a gale of freezing wind like we had yesterday, has the right kind of stuff in him to make good, and I have decided to give him a chance in the office." "Come here," said the little woman, taking him by the arm, "I have a gift for you, a gift I shall both give and keep," and leading him up to the large armchair she showed him Jimsy, who looked up from the Road to Happiness with a little smile, a little cheer, a little love, gleaming in his deep blue eyes.
DEEP, DEEP IN THE HEART SOMETHING STIRRED
DEEP in the heart of the forest - snugly buried beneath the warm earth and leaves - lay an hyacinth bulb. In the heart of it, it dreamed of a beautiful pink flower - so full of perfume that it filled the whole woods. It dreamed of a very blue sky and tall, black trunks of trees with their great swaying branches - but still it dreamed on - because this was not possible to My Lady Hyacinth - since she lay buried deep in the earth which was covered with a heavy layer of leaves and snow - but, anyway, she dreamed it - it was her secret. She did not tell anybody else, because it was too sacred - and because she had no words to express that secret, had she wanted to talk about it - but one thing she knew, and that was that it was there.
Deep in the heart of man lies buried the same secret - he feels a Godlike something imaging itself in his thought - he thinks also of lofty hills and blue skies, and he dreams of untrammeled walks, through green pastures and besides still waters - but it, too, is buried deep in an earth of material reasoning and thinking, and over this is a thousand and one mortal laws and human opinions which even freeze the ground tighter about him. And he, too, tells his secret to no one - because it is so sacred - and also because he has no words to express it - and then, too, because no one would understand it. But within, his heart sings to him, and sometimes it almost pleads openly to be expressed.
And in the heart of the pale blue egg that lay in the robin's nest a whole world was mirrored - but it was bound by an ugly hard shell that it could never break - its thrilling dream of flight through the air with its throat swelling with glorious music was also the secret that it kept - the secret of expressing itself.
But anon - deep in the heart of the hyacinth something stirred - it was a queer sort of feeling - half disturbing, half joyous - almost as if something was pushing it out of its warm white bed. Yes, that was what was happening, and the hyacinth thrilled with joy - but presently it was confronted by the dark earth which said to it, "You can never force your way through all this - you will die in the struggle; and, besides, when you do peep through, the frost will freeze you, and you'll wish you had stayed where you belonged." But something had stirred in the hyacinth - and just as she was about ready to turn back and give up, this something said, "Keep going - the way will open." And so the hyacinth abandoned herself to this inner voice, and her dream came true.
And so with the little blue egg - something stirred - but the shell said, "You cannot get out of this condition; I have bound you fast - you cannot break through this wall of prejudice and heredity." But something had stirred, and the little bird kept growing until he had almost filled the shell, and then he thought - and feared and wondered. "To-morrow I shall completely fill the shell - then what will happen? I cannot get out; to-morrow will be the end of it all." To-morrow was a black and awful affair to the little bird who had almost used up his supply - who had come to the limits of his present condition. He could not see any further than the narrow boundary of his shell, and he had completely forgotten to look within, and by looking within see the way out of the whole situation; so he settled down to worry, often looking at the tiny mite of room he had left to grow in - and which he was constantly using up. He wished he could stop growing; he wanted to save the room. He could not see that by using up all he had he would burst its narrow limitations and have all the room that there was in the world. But presently in his dire distress he turned to the "still, small voice" within and heard the words, "Take no thought for the morrow. Now is the time. Live to the fullest extent now, if it be to the last sou you posses, use all that you have which you find necessary to use - and see what happens." So the little bird also with an abandon grew to the limit of the shells' capacity, and then the narrow walls began to crack and give way. A powerful light began to penetrate the shell - and again a wild fear took possession of him. He was loosing his protection - his present home was being broken up - he was being cast into a strange world; and another panic ensued. Fearful images of what might happen if he dared to leave his present hedged-in thinking. He kept his eyes closed fixed on the outer condition, and they certainly looked as nothing other than chaos and decay. But the happy inner voice said to him, "Judge not from appearances - get a look at the power back of all this change; keep praising its wonderfulness, because all power is good, and only good can result from any change when you declare that the power of good is at work accomplishing whereunto it was sent." So the little bird felt a happy, contented feeling that the whole matter was in the hands of this power, and that, whatever came, it must be good for him, because there was but one power, and that one Good. And at last the shell gave way, and his dream was realized. Had he one regret that he had declared the truth about there being but one Power, and that one Good? Had he one faint longing to return to the narrow confines of his former abode? Had he one fear that he could not meet the issues as they came to him if he listened to the "still, small voice" within? No; not one. He lay there snuggled up under the wings of Love - oh, so happy, so warm; and as he lay there he listened to the singing of the heart of Love. It was a silent song, not herd with ears, but infinitely sweeter. It was the great heart of Love that sing s a constant symphony of harmony and love to the listening ear. It was the great unselfish and impartial parent love which breathed forth in holiness, "Our Father which art in heaven." It was the joy of being in His presence and feeling his tender care and relationship that wove itself into the song which the little bird heard, but which the noisy world missed.
And so within the heart of man - something stirred, but he, too, was afraid to listen. His family said it was imagination; his friends laughed at it; material laws held up its hands and said, "Impossible - idealistic and absurd." And the poor fluttering hopes of man fell into despair and bondage. But the heart of him sung on, "You are free born - you are the son of a king." "Speak as one having authority." "Ask and ye shall receive" - and little by little the man began to listen to this inner voice. He used the "manna" of that day without fear that the inexhaustible source would be cut off, without trying to hoard up enough for to-morrow; and presently the shackles dropped from him and he walked Free - a son of the King.
So, dear one who has heard this story, if a condition presents itself to you that you do not understand - and which seems like chaos or fear - just turn within and declare that the power operating within you can only be good, since all power is good; and judge not from appearances, no matter how contrary to good they seem. The very worst condition that may present itself to you may only be the power of good pushing you from the shell of limited thinking, and preparing you to enter a greater sense of Heaven.
And if in your sickness you stop but a moment and realize that the only power operative, not only in you, but in the whole universe, is good, and that power is always present, you will quickly see that what seems to be sickness is merely an evil thought being destroyed or pushed out of your consciousness by this ever operative power of good, and you will rejoice in the midst of the lion's den, because you will realize that the night is far spent, and already you will begin to see the rosy tint of dawn - if you but turn to the East. So, no matter what the condition seems to be, just declare the allness of this one power good - let go and let it have full sway in you, glory in it in spite of all material conditions, and soon you will preen you wings and fly off to higher fields of joy.
"THE SMALL, WHITE THING"
And another one sayeth, "I shall arise and go unto my Father." He shall arise out of the sleep and chaos of darkened thinking and go unto my Father. Not after I have spent the day in by-play full of evil thinking and doing, but I shall arise and go immediately to my Father. The Father is not far off when we arise and go to Him in the morning; in fact, He is right at hand, and we may commune with Him almost instantly by turning to Him and addressing Him, "My Father which art in heaven (Heaven, our consciousness). My Father which is within my consciousness." Instantly we are within the portals of His abode - heaven. But when we arise and busy ourselves with a thousand and one little worries and cares, when we put our conversation and prayer with God, after we have fretted through a dozen little irritating encounters with our brethren - after we have passed judgement on a dozen or more of our brothers - we find that when we turn to enter the Father's house the way is covered with nettled briars and weeds, which have to first be rooted up before we can find the "WAY - the truth and the life." And even though, through all the sweat of agony in ridding ourselves of the weeds of the day, we hear the soft knocking at the door, so tightly have the tendrils of that vining material thinking bound themselves about our door that we cannot open unto Him until we have gotten at the root of the vine and torn it away. And, oh, how glad we are to "open unto Him and sup with Him." See how compassionate He is with us. He has offered us a morning meal of love, purity and safety from all this struggling, and when we have refused to partake of it and gone our way over material roads - and at last evening has found us weary and worn - then His great compassion is still with us, and He is prepared to sup with us if we will but open unto Him.
No end of love feasts has He prepared for us; no place in the journey is He not ready to "prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies"; no end to His inexhaustible love which constantly invite and enfolds us.
Then why, my dearly beloved, will you not except the morning refreshing, gather and partake of that manna, that bread of life, that substance from above? Suppose you give thanks while you are partaking of this heavenly manna - suppose you acknowledge to yourself that you are filled with the bread of life, that you are sustained and kept by it, and that your spiritual body is like a well-watered garden in the midst of which flows the River of Life, purifying and beautifying it eternally; then, after you have bathed in the purity of this inflowing love, arise and be about thy Father's business, and see if, during the long day, He does not direct thy every step. There will be a little thrill of joy ripple up in you as you secretly keep the Faith - within yourself - and you will feel the joy of doing His bidding; a little thrill of joy that will grow and broaden as it flows on because it is fed by an inexhaustible source of joy, and the hand-writing on the wall shall be your protection, and it shall be just the wisdom you need at that time. If, for example, you are about ready to judge your brother, the hand-writing on the wall will appear, "Judge not." What a happy translation follows, for God has relieved you of the burden of passing judgement on anything - you do not have to judge; and think how easy it is to get rid of criticism when you say, "Well I do not have to bother with judging you - God will attend to that."
Think of the joy that will come to you that night when you have passed one whole joyous day wherein you have judged no man, and when you have said to yourself, "Neither do I condemn you." Think of what a restful, peaceful state of mind it brings you in, not only all the world, but within yourself as well.
So to-morrow, when the first faint flushes turn the sapphire night into morning, gather you a measure of manna and take it up unto a high hill and there partake of your morning repast. Perhaps on this particular morning all the manna which falls about you will be gratitude and praise - and you will gather together all the joys and gratitude and thanksgiving you can think of and take them with you and feed your soul upon them, so that all through the day it will go singing and praising God and shedding its soft healing light of Love all about you as you go. Perhaps it will be faith - pure and simple faith - the kind that was rewarded with a perfect healing when it said, "Speak the word." Do you know what that means - to be able to say, "Speak the word"? It means a complete abandon to a living, vibrating faith that is sure to accomplish. So it may be faith - but whatever it is, take unto yourself a full measure and feed thereon.
LOVE LEADS THE WAY
The Song of the Singer
IT was only a word that started the whole trouble. The doctor who dwelt by the temple said that word. He had said it, half unthinkingly, to the wife of Agara. "Agara has sickness that he knows not of, an incurable sickness - hopeless."
"HOPELESS" was the word which threw the wife of Agara into a panic of fear. Her spirited step lagged as she wended her way home, her voice was dull and her eyes were dimmed with tears. A word had done it.
At the gate of their court she met the mother of Agara, who greeted her with a kiss and a kindly smile. "Why these downcast eyes, my beloved?" And then the wife of Agara told her what the doctor had said - told her the word "hopeless." And likewise the smile died from her lips and the light of her eyes dulled and the mantle of gloom spread its dark folds about her. She had heard the word. That one word uttered in a half-thinking way had thus far spread its seeming power and as it passed from lip to lip its influence widened. One after another felt the poison stealing along their veins.
And the doctor went gaily on his way, forgetting in a second his message to the wife of Agara, but his word had set a whole household at variance, had set at naught years of dreaming. "Is there, then, such power in a single word?" said Agara, who at last learned the cause of the gloomy atmosphere of his otherwise happy home. Can a single word, a single spoken word, carry such tremendous power with it? And if one man speaking the word "hopeless," which is negative, can cause the overturning of a dozen people - can destroy the sunshine of a home, what will happen if a man chose to send out the word "hope"? And rising up, he said to his dear ones, "There is hope - there is yet the promise of the Holy Book," and so the word of "hope" was given out, and little by little the joy of former days crept back into its resting place.
What is the power of the word? Well, let me see; the worlds were framed and fashioned by words, and further, the "Word was made flesh." Man himself is the spoken word - the thought of God. In reality, the word is but the vehicle of thought, and since mind is everywhere present, and thought is the timber of which mind is composed, then the word is everywhere present waiting to be expressed.
Let us examine back into the original of our spoken word - yours and mine, for example. What was the thought back of our word, back of us? Here's the word: "Man was made in the image and likeness of God - free, perfect and eternal. Divinely fair. The son of a King." These are some of the words that were expressed for us - these are some of the words that were sent forth. And "My Word shall not return unto me void, but shall accomplish whereunto it was sent."
Is your word going to return void, or is it going to accomplish whereunto it was sent? You only have to remember that you are the idea of God - the expression of Him, His spoken word made flesh - to know that you must accomplish whereunto you were sent.
What about poverty when we seek out the spoken words - which shall not return unto Him void and find Joint heir with Christ"? Christ the older brother - son of a King, and we joint-heirs with
Him. Can poverty stand before the unlimited riches of God? "You and I" sons of the same and only Father, the King of Kings. This is the spoken word that has come down through the ages, and which we have failed to hear.
What about worry and care when "My peace I give unto you" come to us from the Source of all Peace? Can you listen for a moment while the "still, small voice" says "Peace, be still"? Do you catch the undying harmony and cadence of this word? The "peace that passeth understanding" is yours. Now? It is yours now, and you can let it be made manifest among you. "The word became flesh and dwelt among them." Let this peace be made manifest in your flesh.
What about fear when the word "Fear not" comes thundering out of all time, "for I am with you always"? Will this not give you a mastery, poise and peace yet unknown?
What about criticism when "Judge not" relieves you of this distasteful duty?
Back up all your arguments with the powerful declaration, "My words are spirit, and they are true and they shall not return unto me void." And your power back of this statement is that "God hath said so." Do you want any better reason for believing it? God hath said so. Did not He "speak and it was done"?
Then comes the practical application of these words - not in theory, but in every-day life - you and I. Let's see, there is a struggling student who needs a word of cheer. Are you going to speak it and see your word travel out and make a string of smiles and sunshine?
There's a sick man. He is coming right to you for help. Are you going to say "How bad you look," or are you going to put on your shield and buckler and decapitate the word - the false word that has bound him? You will remember that you are armed with the Word of God, which is "sharper than a two-edged sword, turning in all directions." You won't be afraid, will you? because you are protected by this "two-edged sword, which is turning in all directions." You will use this sword and put an end to the lie, and after you have declared your truth you will not send out a legion of fear words after it, will you?
Do you remember the power of Jesus' spoken word when the Centurion came to him and said, "Only speak the word"? What did His spoken word accomplish? "The servant was healed in that selfsame hour." He did not speak the word and then say I will see your servant to-morrow and give him the spoken word for a week or month. He spoke the word and then went on his way, confident that "His word should not return unto Him void, but would accomplish whereunto it was sent," and it was sent on a healing mission - and it accomplished it. Finally, he said, "Even greater works than these shall ye do." What is your spoken word doing all day long?
What does "Watch and Pray" mean other than guard your words and pray - affirm God's allness and perfection?
Words are seeds, we are told over and over. What kind of crop are you sowing? Every word springs up with differing degrees of strength and power. Is the seed of your Truth sowing going to bring forth a crop of mushrooms or are they going to bring forth mighty oak trees? It is as easy to plant acorns as it is to sow mushrooms. "My words are spirit and they are truth, and they shall not return unto me void."
THE RED ROSE
DO you know what it means to dwell "in the bosom of the Father"? Do you know what it means "to live and move and have your being in God"? Since God is ever-present mind - then to live and move and have your being in God is to live and move and have your being in mind; and since thought is the chief fiber of mind, then man is in reality the thought or idea of God - sustained and protected and dependant on that mind. Think for a moment of, let us say, a very red rose. Where does the thought rest - where is the thought? In your mind, of course, entirely separate from the external. Now think of that very same red rose in the next room, then in the garden, then in some foreign country. Easy, isn't it, to think that rose around over the entire world - to make it go large or small as you will, because it is a thought in your mind. All things are possible to it that are possible to your thinking. You could even think the rose growing out of a block of ice. The most frigid winds could not nip it or the most torrid suns could not wilt it so long s you thought of it as a perfect rose.
Now, then, if man is the idea or thought of God, then God literally thinks man into his proper place. He holds in mind always the perfect conception of spiritual man - unchanged by any exterior condition, be it heat or cold, or any other man-made condition. He continually sees man as His offspring, perfect, indestructible, and eternal, and so He holds him in His mind. The perfect pattern is not lost or destroyed, but remains whole and intact, whether it is being expressed in China or New York, whether in the fields or in the office, the individuality of the God idea man is retained in all its primal beauty.
Then when you realize that you are one with this mind - that God is expressing you as His idea - is it for you to stand in the way of this perfect manifestation by thrusting in the distorted mortal ideas that come to you? Rather, should not this prayer be on your lips, "Thy will be done," and put aside all outlining and striving to bring certain results to pass. He will not suffer you to be lost; He will abundantly prosper those who give all and follow Him - But He will do it in His own way and in the place or land that He has given unto you. Have no fear, He will not think His ideas into a place, a problem or condition which cannot be perfectly met. "When thou passeth through deep waters I am with thee," and "No plague shall come nigh thy dwelling."
Then again I say unto you, "Be not afraid." God is mindful of His own, and His Way is peace.
"GOD'S IN HIS HEAVEN"
What the Poet Sang
GOD AND MAN
MAN is as inseparable from God as he is from his shadow. The reason of one is the cause of the other. As nothing can obliterate your shadow, or separate you from it, so nothing can separate you from God. Storms may beat upon it, rain may fall upon it, but the shadow is not effaced or even affected until its cause is removed. Since God, whose image and likeness you are, whose reflection you are, is immovable and eternal, unchangeable and fixed - there is no fear that the cause for your reflection will taken away.
To have a shadow it is necessary to have light shining on us, and the way to keep this light shining is by keeping a heart full of gratitude, full of the oil of joy of right living. There are no gray days in a grateful heart; the sun is always shining there.
That which is your will come unto you - not by any frantic struggling and fighting to wrestle it away from the Giver of all Gifts; not by long and dark hours of laboriously "knowing the truth" - but by letting it float into you as a natural sequence of right thinking, just like the light comes to you in the morning. You don't fight for it - you don't go out to meet it; you "let" it come unto you. There is clean, wholesome activity about this letting - it is the jewel of thought turning in all directions to catch all the light possible - it is the obedience of the sunflower which follows the sun across the sky each day, ever with its eye heavenward on the Source of all Light - and at night immediately after it has set - turning its face eastward, ready and waiting for the first faint flushes of the dawn. Keep, then, your mind's eye open to every bit of truth and love that is being sent out to you by the all-loving Father - and all else will take care of itself.
Each successive state of existence gives man more freedom from matter. Compare the caterpillar, who laboriously covers every inch of ground with his whole body, with his next state as a butterfly, who floats off without coming in contact with matter but ever so rarely; his silent work in the cocoon, though unseen by the outside world, was productive of huge results to himself. So it is with man, who is working diligently with thought; he may seem to have entered a cocoon state of existence, but anon he soars up higher, having cut through the walls of Jerico which bound him.
What will dissipate criticism quicker than the question which the Master traced in the dust, "He that is without sin among you, cast the first stone"? If this be your motto, sitting in judgement on your brother will be unknown.
* * *
Withhold not from me the roses of your love and well wishes until I have passed the portals of the great beyond. There - scatter not scented rose leaves of memory, fragrant with love, on my grave, but give to me the dew-covered petals of your appreciation and love while they are yet fresh and fair that I may drink thereof and satisfy my soul.
* * *
Why do I call you friend? It is because your voice when you greet me calls for something from within which sends dull care and worry back into its nothingness. It is because the steady gaze of your eye searches through the mass of chaff and finds the few grains of wheat and looks well at them. It is because your love is like a mighty well that shields me from the shafts of criticism and hate. And, lastly, it is because you understand.
What more restful melody could come to you at evening after a long, long day than these simple words, "I have called you a friend"?
* * *
On grey days take out your jewels of gratitude, for in them the sun of happy hours is yet shining.
* * *
When the storm is upon you, "stand fast"; there is another in deeper water than you who is looking for your light. Unself yourself by helping the man farther down to get up to your level, and God will lift you both up.
* * *
When the day is sunny, fortify yourself that when the storm breaks you will find yourself protected against sudden shafts of wrong.
* * *
Remembering all the while, if you load seems hard and heavy, that the place you find yourself in is the place you have made by your own thinking. Think yourself out of hell by knowing "If I make my bed in hell, there is God," knowing that where God is heaven is.
The bird singing on the bleak February bough has caught the message that spring is coming, and in his heart it has already come. So man who is spiritually alert catches the messages of Divine Intelligence long before the ice of materialism melts into the sunshine of Love - and he, too, sings of the completed Word, "Father, I thank Thee that Thou hath heard me."
* * *
Why feed on the husks of hate, jealousy, envy and wrath when you might be feeding among the lilies, love, peace, calm and harmony?
* * *
Worry is like a cat chasing its tail - it never gets anywhere and at last drops exhausted within the tiny circle it has trod.s