But the boy or girl who shines inside is one who “irons out his wrinkles with a smile” even though things do not exactly please him, and he thinks of other people instead of himself.
Now, how can boys and girls shine inside so that they will always shine outside whether they have their own way or not? Well, you remember that the Bible says that when Moses came down from the mountain his face shone, because he had been talking with God. That is the secret, boys and girls. When a man or a woman or a boy or a girl talks often enough with God in prayer and asks to be made like Christ, then a light is lighted within him which causes his face to shine. You remember Christ said, “I am the Light.” Let Him into your heart, and you will shine inside.
“The man worth while is the man
with a smile
When everything goes dead wrong.”
If you have been up the Hudson River from New York to Albany by the day-boat, you will probably have noticed a high mountain on the right-hand side of the river by the name of Storm King.
I want to tell you about an eagle that used to live there. He could be seen there almost any day soaring high above the mountain-peak. And many a hunter had tried to shoot him. But he avoided them all. And how do you think he did it? Did he hide from them? No. Just by flying so high that the bullets could not reach him, or, if some chance bullet did reach him, he was so far away that it just kissed his plumage and fell back to earth without doing him any harm.
I wish that every boy and girl were as wise as that old eagle. That is always the way to avoid being wounded by sins: just keep high up above them. I mean by that, when you are tempted to do anything that is wrong, not to stop and argue with yourself whether you will get caught if you do it, or whether you will be happier if you do not do it, or any of these things by which you lose time. But just get right away from it: put it out of your mind.
I suppose you will wonder how you can do that. I will tell you. You have often heard about “wishing-caps,” and how the people in fairy-stories put them on and just wish themselves wherever they want to be, and quick as a flash they are there. Well, there is a wishing-cap that every boy and girl can put on when he is tempted; it is this prayer, “O God, help me not to do this thing which is wrong!” And if you say that prayer, and believe God will help you, it will take you high out of reach of the sin, just as that old eagle flew high above reach of the bullets. For God says that they who ask Him for help shall “mount up on wings as eagles.”
I heard an amusing story sometime ago about a savage in Africa who came to a missionary very much excited and told him that his dog had been completely spoiled as a watch-dog because he had chewed up and eaten a small New Testament he had happened to get hold of. He said that the dog would never be of any more use because the New Testament which he had swallowed would take all the fight out of him, and he could no longer keep wild animals away from the sheep.