I am not so sure of that. I think boys and girls meet things every day that are very much like lions. Of course, in these days we call them temptations. But, then, they jump out at you very suddenly and unexpectedly sometimes. And they would devour your souls just as this lion would have eaten up Samson had he not killed it. And when you kill a temptation by not giving way to it you can make a riddle just like Samson, and you can say, too, “Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.” For just like Samson, every time you come to the place where you have overcome a temptation,—it may be to say unkind things, or to be quick-tempered, or to be hateful,—you will find that you will be stronger to overcome it next time. And the remembrance of how you were able to overcome your feelings will be sweet, just as that honey was to Samson. God says that if we trust Him, “the young lion shall ye trample under foot.”
If any of you boys and girls, while riding through a great city on an express train, ever chance to put your head out of the car-window and look forward along the tracks, you will see several blocks ahead of the train people in carriages, on foot, and in street-cars crossing the railway-tracks in great numbers, and it seems as if the train would have to stop, or else it would run over somebody. But the train never slackens speed. The engineer keeps on blowing the whistle, and the train thunders along at the usual rate.
Then you will notice when you get near those crossings that all the gates are down and the railway-tracks are perfectly clear.
That is the way with many of the difficulties we face in life. We set out to do the thing our conscience tells us to do, and it seems as if the road were full of obstructions. But you just go straight ahead, determined to do your duty, and lo, the hindrances disappear. When an earnest man goes right ahead, the crowd usually opens up to let him through.
As you get older and face the world you will find it looks like a great, fierce giant. But really its fierce look is caused by a false-face that it wears to frighten faint-hearted people. You go boldly up and take hold of his beard, as David faced the giant, and you will be surprised to find that not only the beard but the whole mask comes off in your hands, and there is a kindly countenance behind. For the world would rather see you succeed than fail.
I heard of a young man the other day who went into an office in Chicago to sell a bill of goods. The man behind the desk was very brusque and fierce-looking, and snapped out, “Well, what do you want here?”
The young man promptly replied, “I want first to be treated as a gentleman, and then I may talk business to you.”
The other man dropped his fierce manner at once, and the young man sold him a large bill of goods. The man behind the desk told him when he was leaving that he greeted strangers fiercely to try their mettle, and if they ran away he concluded they weren’t worth troubling with anyhow.