By Patricia Nordman
"Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say,`The people are stronger and taller than we are...'" (Deuteronomy 1:28). What a pity that our brethren put stumbling-blocks in the way by discouraging us with goblins of fear, guilt, inferiority and hate. God sent His Son to deliver us from these evils. Now we must go on to our new and heavier responsibilities with courage. We must not pay attention to those who would melt our hearts by "saying"--by criticizing and downgrading--and thereby making the downhearted to fall. The one who discourages is like a black cloud with no silver lining. The Christian who knows God knows better.
Art Buchwald told the story of the Hollywood producer who loved to collect rare books and loved to tell about it, too. His friends, tired of bent ears, hired an actor to tell the producer that he had an old German Bible. The collector asked him who printed it, and the actor replied, "`Guten' something." The stunned producer said, "Guntenberg?" "Yes, that sounds like it." The producer screamed, "Let's go, we'll hire a plane!" The actor replied, "It can't be worth anything. Someone named Martin Luther scribbled all over it." Are we making our Bibles worthwhile for others by notating what is precious to us?
Ambition is fine if it is headed in the right direction, but aspiration without inspiration can literally kill us. We should hope for a better life, but be willing to work for it, too. "Hope is the sunshine of the heart; and those young people who begin life with a free gratification of wants and a full sense of prosperity lose the fine relish that comes with each new and hard-earned indulgence, and the delight of adding to another's pleasure by self-sacrifice and renunciation. They may well be pitied for not knowing the enjoyment of gradual progress through their own power of perseverance" (George S. Hillard).