The Hardness of the Way

Children, how hard is it!

— St. Mark 10:24

Demands previously unknown are continually being made upon the Christian: it is the ever fresh rousing and calling, asking and sending of the Spirit that worketh in the children of obedience. When he thinks he has attained, then is he in danger; when he finds the mountain he has so long been climbing show suddenly a distant peak, whose glory-crowned apex it seems as if no human foot could ever reach—then is there hope for him; proof there is then that he has been climbing, for he beholds the yet unclimbed; he sees what he could not see before; if he knows little of what he is, he knows something of what he is not. He learns ever afresh that he is not in the world as Jesus was in the world; but the very wind that breathes courage as he climbs is the hope that one day he shall be like him, seeing him as he is.

The man who, for consciousness of well-being, depends upon anything but the life essential, is a slave. He is not perfect who, deprived of every thing, would not be calmly content; for none the less would he be possessor of all things, the child of the Eternal. Things are given us, this body first, that through them we may be trained both to independence and true possession of them. We must possess them; they must not possess us. No man who has not the Father so as to be eternally content in him alone, can possess a sunset or a mine of gold or the love of a fellow-creature according to its nature, as God would have him possess it. But he who has God, has all things.