Chapter 23 – Lost in Transit

Chapter XXIII
LOST IN TRANSIT
W. John Murray
The Realm of Reality
Divine Science Publishing Assoc.
New York, 1922.

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
–Eccles. 9:10

[276] I have been thinking of the many things that are lost in transit, and wondering if, in the mental world, there is not some correspondence for it all. Of recent years there has been a great deal of mail and expressage failing to reach its destination. It was not difficult for us to understand this during the Great War, when we considered the heavy inroads made in the mail and express service by the drafts of men for military service; nor were we surprised when we learned that whole shiploads of grain and other supplies intended for the Allies failed to reach those to whom they were dispatched.

These illustrations give us an idea of what is taking place with most of the people in the world. There are a thousand good starters for one good finisher, and perhaps this accounts for the fact that there is just about one success for every thousand failures. We have so many irons in the fire that we become confused. “Jacks-of-all-trades,” [277] we are really master of none. The evidence of all this was shown by the great uncertainty which was abroad in the land concerning what we should do personally to be of real assistance at the time of the world’s great need. So many branches of service were open to us, and there were so many worthy causes to which to contribute, that we were bewildered.

The relief society with a high-sounding title all too frequently exists for the purpose of enriching a few at the expense of the many. Much money is sent in , but only a small percentage reaches those whose distress is so eloquently pictured on the society’s stationery. The donor is out of pocket, and the supposed beneficiary continues to suffer. The love offering has been lost in transit. Such facts should point to a lesson in concentration, and teach us the wisdom of selecting one worthy cause and giving to it our time and money in such ways as to make that cause a most efficient means to an end.

Have you ever thought of all the time and thought, as well as energy and money, that is lost in transit by those who start things and never see them through? A man quits a good position in order to go into business for himself. His hopes are high and he can imagine how fine it is to be one’s own employer. He starts beautifully and the feeling of proprietorship is exhilarating, but there comes a day when business slows down and expenses speed up. He can then realize what caused his former employer to be irritable at [278] times, but the recognition of this is no balm for his own distressed mentality. As he lies awake at night, he indulges in comparisons. A position with a good salary and no personal financial responsibility is a much more comfortable berth than to own one’s own store, and yet know not whence the rent is coming. Fear and self-pity seize him, and as these are not good aids to success, it is only a question of time until he closes shop and looks for another position.

This is another instance of where time and money are lost in transit. Such a man is a good starter but a poor finisher. He prefers to let his employer worry while he draws his salary. Mediocrity is his doom, and this by his own consent and cowardice. Jesus said, “No man, having put his hand to the plough and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Every day, in connection with various shirt-waist factories, you will see an advertisement in the papers for “Good Finishers.” Is it treading the verge of modern slang too closely to say that this is what God is advertising for? That which is true of a foot-race, or a boat race, is equally true of the contest of life.

Hast thou attempted greatness?
Then go on;
Back-turning slackens resolution.

Without resolution there is no achievement. We must, like Mr. Britling, “see it through,” whether it is war, in business or in religion. [279] To make good resolutions, as we do at New Year, only to yield to discouragement at the very first temptation, is a sign of weakness, and weakness is not the magnet by which we attract success. Every man realizes that his condition or station in life might be improved upon and, accordingly, most men have an idea of what would bring about this improvement. A new spirit in an old business has often revived it and converted approaching failure into success. Sometimes this fresh impulse has to come from the outside in the form of what is called a new management. The old management has conceived many plans, but has lacked the initiative and the courage to put these into execution. They have had visions, but their visions have been lost in transit. They have had hopes, but their hopes have been frittered away through fear. What we need most is not to go outside to get other men to infuse a vigorous activity into our enterprises, but to cultivate this new spirit in ourselves. Once resolve to do this, and the next step will be to clear away from our thinking processes everything which prevents this attitude from expressing itself in results.

If we would not have our ambitions lost in transit, we must learn to concentrate; or perhaps it would be better to say, we must learn to eliminate. Whenever a thing or a thought is lost in transit it is due to an interference somewhere along the line of travel. To discover these interferences and remove them, is to insure safe passage and satisfying consequences. Just as a submarine [280] might have interfered with mail and food in transit to the Allies, or just as inefficiency or insufficiency might have prevented their speedy delivery had they escaped the submarines, so outside pressure may interfere with the safe arrival of our ambitions at their intended destination of achievement.

A young widow came to New York from a western city with a few hundred dollars left from her husband’s insurance. She brought with her an only child. Her hope was to get something to do that would make her economically independent. She had friends in New York to whom she applied for advice, but the consensus of opinion seemed to be that she should go back to the small town from which she came, and where she was best known, and do the best she could there, instead of struggling against insurmountable obstacles in New York. She took the advice of her friends, but it resulted in a small position at small wages and with small opportunities.

Another woman came to New York with two young children after the death of her husband in Europe. She had less than a hundred dollars, and spoke little if any English. To go back was impossible, and so, despite all the terrifying aspects of the situation, she placed her children in a nursery and took a menial position by the day. At present she is the proprietor of a prosperous business. This has nothing to do with small towns or large cities, but with small and large [281] personal expectations. To him that hath a large vision and a strong determination shall be given; to him that hath small vision and small expectation shall be taken away even that which he hath.

There are few men who, at some time or other, have not had moments of great enthusiasm, when the future was as plain before them as the sun at noonday. They could see the glorious end from the small beginning, and at once they set out on the path to power. Seeing the end from the beginning, they had not counted on the things between, and when these began to present themselves, courage commenced to wane, and that fine enthusiasm with which they had started out was lost in transit.

Do you suppose it is all because man himself seems to have become lost in transit? Launched forth into a world of experiences and opportunities, only to return when he came, richly laden with the fruits of spiritual conquest, may it not be that he has become, for a time, lost in a fog of materialism, that he is wandering around in a maze of uncertainty? If the journey of the soul is from God back to God again, then man’s difficulties and discouragements would indicate that he has become side-tracked in some mysterious manner.

Just as the Post Office authorities send out tracers after letters and packages which have been lost in transit, so does that loving Intelligence which rules the universe send out tracers in the form of prophets and apostles, and, greatest of [282] all, in the form of Jesus, to find that which is lost in transit and restore it to its rightful owner, God. How else shall we account for the Way-showers of the centuries? In every human soul there is the God-implanted impulse to attain the Perfect. Like the prodigal son, we have to attain away from the Father’s house, which symbolizes Peace, and Health and Happiness, and since life is unbearable without these, we strive in every way to achieve them.

When the way seems long and painful we yield to discouragement, and often consult with those whom we consider capable of advising, only to be told that we must not be surprised at our illnesses and poverties, since these are the conditions peculiar to the world. Such conditions as we are seeking do not obtain on this planet, we are informed; therefore, we must not seek as present possessions what can be only post-mortem experiences. The attempt to realize heavenly conditions on earth has always seemed impossible, and yet we go on trying. This is because we are meant to enjoy the goodness of God in the land of the living; therefore, nothing can destroy the instinct, notwithstanding our efforts and ambitions may become lost in transit.

Of all the things which make for side-tracked resolutions, I know of nothing equal to self-depreciation. We cannot understand how other men can succeed because we convince ourselves that they are not handicapped as we are. They [283] were born under a lucky star, while we were ushered into the world under most unfavorable conditions. They have had friends and influence, while we have had to face life’s battle without either. It is asking too much, that we, alone and unaided, should achieve the success we desire. We forget that the works of a watch are inside. When a man hopes to be moved in the direction of success by outside pull and other people, he is expecting the impossible. The vast majority of failures in the world are due to the fact that the average man works with everything but the right thing. We lay more stress on human pull than on Divine Principle, and when this fails, as it always does, we become disconsolate. Unless the average man has influence, he feels impotent.

When a man attaches too much importance to what other people can do, for or against him, he is like a watch without works,–he won’t go far. The strength of man is like one of those army “tanks” which forces its way through brick walls, across trenches, tears up trees and scatters death and destruction. The tanks needs no outside pull or push. Its stored-up energy is within itself. Sniper’s bullets make little impression upon it. Solomon says to the lazy man, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard.” I say to the fearful man, “Go to the tank.” See in it an object lesson. Drawing upon its own stored-up energy, it pursues its mission, heedless of the sharp stings of scattered shrapnel. Its energy is not lost in transit, for it almost invariably reaches its objective.

[284] When a man’s mental dynamo is working in harmony with God’s law, he is drawing upon an inexhaustible store of strength. Working from within as a co-partner with the Infinite, no obstacle is insurmountable, no task too difficult. Nothing can offer successful resistance to him who knows that he can do all things through Christ which strengthens him. He does not lose in transit either his peace or his power, because of the sniper’s bullets of envy, prejudice, or misrepresentation. He does not give up a good work because others ascribe ulterior motives to him. If man would do the work that God intends him to do, and for the accomplishment of which he has supplied all the necessary machinery, he must become a spiritual tank. He must move forward by the spiritual energy stored up in his own soul, and he must maintain the attitude toward criticism and condemnation which Paul maintained when he said, “None of these things move me.”

Many a noble purpose and many a good deed have been lost in transit because of fear of what other people might say or do. A man in conquered, not so much by what other people say about him, as by the power of his own fears and sensitiveness. When he learns that he is environed by himself, and that this Self is Divine, he will not quake and tremble. A man may not fear imprisonment or execution for his peculiar views, but if he fears public opinion, what is the difference? A healthy mind is related to all the laws which make for power, just as a feeble mind [285] is related to all the forces that make for weakness. A spent bullet is not the consequence of a too great distance, but the result of a lack of power in the projector. A spent thought, which does not reach its destination, is not lost in transit because the thing desired is unattainable, but because the thinker is using only half his energy.

When a man tells me that I cannot help myself, he plunges me into despair, if I believe him; but if I do not believe him, he prods me to productiveness. Believe no man when he tells you that the thing that ought to be done cannot be done. Let not your lofty desires be lost in transit because of the wear of fools, for then you will be the prince of fools. God has endowed you with power to transcend all your difficulties; therefore, let nothing affright you. Use your difficulties as you use the apparatus in a gymnasium,–to give you strength. It is your duty to obey your divine impulses. The call of the spirit is the call of the soul for a fuller expression of joy and gladness, health and wholeness. Do not allow yourself to be hypnotised into the belief that you cannot enter into the enjoyment of the things which God has prepared for you.

If you are sick, do not delude yourself into the belief that you are ill beyond recovery. If you are poor, do not conclude that you will always remain so. Is it not written that “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him”? These things, which have been lost in transit, are here [286] now awaiting your claim. When the temptation comes and you think your situation is hopeless, just remember that your strength, which is God, is equal to every demand which you may make upon it. “To them that believe, all things are possible.” Believe, then, that you shall have your heart’s desire. God is no respecter of persons, giving health and wealth to some, and withholding them from others. Say, then, in your moments of temptation, “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Say often, “MY strength cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth.” “I shall not be afraid, and so come short of the things I want. I will rise to the power and dignity of my Sonship with God. Health is my birthright. I claim it in the name of Him who created me. I have it now.”

Chapter 24

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