He had encountered heavy storms, and reached the top of the famous mountain only at the risk of his life. But he reached it. He had the real stuff in him, after all. Yet everything not absolutely essential had to be sacrificed. And his ideas of the meaning of that word “essential” underwent radical changes as he labored up the steep.
Then the old teacher telling the story suddenly leaned over his desk and, looking earnestly at the class, said, “When I was young I planned out my life just as he planned out his climb. Food and clothing, and full records of my experiences for the world’s information, figured in big. But at forty I cared only for such clothes as kept me warm, and at fifty only for such food as kept me strong. And so steep was the climb up to the top I had set my heart upon that at sixty I cared little for the opinions of people, if only I might reach the top. And when I do reach it I shall not care whether the world has a record of it or not. That record is in safety above.”
We laugh at the ambitious young Englishman. But will you kindly let me say, plainly, without meaning to be critical in an unkind sense, that most of us do just as he did. And will you listen softly, while I say this—many of us, when we find we can’t reach the top with our loads, let the top go, and pitch our tents in the plain, and settle down with our small plans and accessories. The plain seems to be quite full of tents.
The plan of the Swiss guides is the plan for the life-climb. It is the plan, and the only one for us to follow in the world-winning climb. That was Jesus’ plan. He left behind and threw away everything that hindered, and at the last threw away life itself, that so the world might find life. We must follow Him.
The Urgent Need
Three Great Groups.
The Needle Of The Compass Of Need.
A Quick Run Round The World.
West By Way Of The East.
The Greatest Need.
Groping In The Dark.
Living Messages Of Jesus.
The Great Unknown Lack.
Three Great Groups.
The human heart is tender. It answers quickly to the cry of need. It is oftentimes hard to find. In Christian lands it is covered up with selfishness. And in heathen lands the selfishness seems so thickly crusted that it is hard to awaken even common humanitarian feeling.
But that heart once dug out, and touched, never fails to respond to the cry of need. We know how the cry of physical distress, of some great disaster, or of hunger will be listened to, and how quickly all men respond to that. When the terrible earthquake laid San Francisco in burning ruins the whole nation stopped, and gave a great heart-throb; and then commenced at once sending relief. Corporations that are rated soulless and men that are spoken of as money-mad, knocking each other pitilessly aside in their greed for gold and power, all alike sent quick and generous help of every substantial sort.