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MILLER A GENIAL author has written a little book on the evolution of an ideal, taking as her text the quotation, "The way of life is wonderful; it is by abandonment." Most people think that the way of life is by acquisition, by getting things and keeping them, by accumulating and conserving. But the saying is true — it is by abandonment, by letting things go and leaving them behind, when they have fulfilled their purpose, that we really grow. Bulk is not greatness. It is in being, not in having, that character consists. Saint Paul gives us in a remarkable sentence a plan of life, a scheme of progress. He says it is by forgetting the things that are behind and stretching forward to things that are before, that we grow. As we think of it, we see 
Ci^e tmon of lolje
that this is the only true way to live. Childhood is very sweet and beautiful, but no one would want to stay a child always. The boy is not sorry when he feels himself growing into manhood. He seems to be leaving much behind — much that is winning and attractive.
Perhaps his mother grieves as she sees him losing one by one the things she has always liked — his curls, his boyish ways, his delicate features, the qualities that kept him a child, and taking on elements of strength, marks of manhood. But if he remained always a boy, a child with curls and dainty tastes, what a pitiful failure his life would be ! He can press to the goal of perfection only by putting away, letting go, leaving behind, the sweetness, the gentleness, the simplicity, the innocence of boyhood. The same principle runs through all life. Manhood is stern, strong, heroic. It would seem that childhood is more beautiful. It is sweeter, daintier, more winning. But who regrets passing from childhood's gentleness and 
(0t:oi»m8 bt ^IbanDonment attractiveness to man's strength and ruggedness, and man's hard tasks ? Nazareth was easier by far to Jesus than what came after — the homelessness, the long journeys, the enmities, the persecutions, the struggles, the sufferings. But when he left the carpenter shop and went to the Jordan to be baptized, thence to the wilderness to be tempted, and thence started on the way to his cross, was he sorry? ** That evening when the Carpenter swept out The fragrant shavings from the workshop floor y
And placed the tools in order , and shut to And barred, for the last time, the humble door. And going on his way tcrsave the world, Turned from the laborer's lot for evermore, I wonder — was he glad ? ** That morning when the Carpenter walked forth, From JosepNs doorway in the glimmering light, And bade his holy mother long farewell. And, through the rose-shot skies with dawning bright, Saw glooming dark the shadows of the Cross, Yet, seeing, set his feet toward Calvary's height, I wonder — was he sad f '* [ 109 ]
Ci^e tmon of toU He was eager to go forth from the quiet of his peasant home and his happy Hf e among friends and neighbors in the Uttle Galilean village, to enter upon the great work for which he had come into the world. There are many intimations of this eagerness in the story of our Lord's life as given in the gospels. He spoke of the baptism with which he must be baptized, and said that he was straitened until it should be accomplished. At another time he said : "We must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day : the night cometh, when no man can work." At one time it is said that as he and his disciples were on their way, going up to Jerusalem, Jesus pressed on before them so eagerly that the disciples were amazed and awed, unable to understand his eagerness.
He knew what awaited him at Jerusalem, but instead of holding back, he hastened on, impelled by a resistless desire to do his Father's will. It would have been' easier, knowing all the future, for him to stay in his mother's home at Nazareth, working at his trade, and living a 
d^rotoing lit abanDottment quiet life, than to go forth into the way of struggle, toil, and pain, which led to a cross. But he forgot the easy, pleasant things which were behind, and with joy entered on the harder way before him as he pressed toward the goal. A word in the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us that for the joy set before him he endured the cross, despising the shame. So every true and worthy life rejoices to leave the ease and rest and comfort of the days of training and preparation and go on to where the burdens are heavier, the paths steeper and rougher and the thorns sharper, if thus fuller, larger manhood is reached. It takes courage and resolution to continue ever moving away from our past. We would like to keep the things we have learned to love, and we do not want to break away from them. Some people are not willing to leave their sorrows behind. They never come out of the shadows of their griefs. They stay back with their dead. They do not wish to come away from the graves where they have buried their
Ci^e lejsjson of Hoije heart's treasures. They never forget their sorrows. But this Is not God's will for us. Of course we cannot forget love — that never can be our duty. We cannot but miss sweet companionships — we would be unloving, and disloyal to our heart's covenants, if we could. But there is a way of forgetting our griefs in which we still keep all that is sacred of the friendships which have meant so much to us, and yet go on with joy and victory in our hearts, to a life all the richer and more beautiful because of our sorrow. We should never leave behind us anywhere in life, in any experience, anything that is good and true. George Eliot said : "I desire no future that will break the ties of the past." We are not living wisely if we are losing anything out of our hands as we go on. In nature nothing is ever really lost. When wood is burned its form is changed, but no particle of it is wasted. The blossom is not lost when it falls off to make room for the coming of the fruit. The lovely things of childhood are not lost 
(10!toia)ing hv abanDonntent when they are given up for the things that displace them. Whatever is beautiful stays in the life always — only the outward form per-
ishes or changes. We never can lose our friends. They may leave us as to their visible presence, passing from us so that we cannot see them any more; but what they were to us is ours forever ; what they did for us, — the impressions they left upon us, the lessons they taught us, the touches they put upon our characters, these we never can lose. Abandonment therefore is not losing. We only give up the hull while we keep the kernel. The flower fades, but its fragrance remains in our hearts, and its life is continued in the fruit which comes in the blossom's place. The song is forgotten, but its melody stays in our memory and its sweetness in our life. We leave the days behind us when we have lived them, and never can go over them again. But the gifts the days brought us from God, the lessons we learned from their experiences, it would be treason for us to forget, or to fail to carry with us. 
Cl^e tt^&on of loije
Sometimes we say that if only we could live our past time over again we would live it better. This is an unavailing yearning, for time never turns back. But we may live to-morrow as we would live to-day if we could go over it a second time. That is a true use of our past — penitence over our mistakes and follies, and the learning of the lessons for the days that yet remain.
So we may go on, giving up the things that are dear, but losing nothing that was good or worthy in them, forgetting the things that are behind, but passing ever to new things. Thus we shall ever go from good to better, from blossom to fruit, from hope to fruition, from prophecy to fulfilment. Henry van Dyke puts it thus : Let me but live my life from year to year, With forward face and unreluotant soul, Wot hastening to nor turning from the goal; Nor mourning things that disappear In the dim past, nor holding hack in fear From what the future veils; hut with a whole And happy heart that pays its toll To youth and age, and travels on with cheer, 
So let the way wind up the hill or down, Through rough or smooth ; the journey will he joy, Still seeking what I sought when hut a hoy, — New friendship, high adventu7'e, and a crown. I shall grow old, hut never lose life's zest, Because the road's last turn will he the best. " One of these days when the sun sinks low^ With the glory of God in its after-glow^ We will pause and think of the things undone^
Of what we lost^ Of what we have won^ — One of these days. " One of these days^ when we older grow^ With the glory of God in our after-glow^ We will pause and think of what we have won^ And God grant naught will le found undone^ One of these days,'^ 1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books 2. ALL WRITINGS http://www.scribd.com/glennpease/documents?page=1000
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