A New DeparturePosted: October 5, 2008
I do not know, my brethren, that we can expect to see energy continuous at its full in any one of us. I suspect that he who burns like a seraph knows moments in which the flame somewhat abates. As the sun itself is not at all times alike powerful, so the man who, like the shining light, shineth more and more unto the perfect day, is not uniformly bright, nor always at his noon. Nature does not hold the sea for ever at flood; ebbs intervene, and the ocean pauses a while ere it returns again to the fulness of its strength. The vegetable world has its winter, and enjoys a long sleep beneath its bed of snow. It is not wasted time, that ebb or that winter; flood and summer owe much to ebb and frost. I suspect that, because we are in affinity with nature, we, too, shall have our changes, and shall not abide at one elevation. No man’s life is all climax. Let us not despond if, just now, our spirit is at a low ebb; the tide of life will roll up as before, and even reach a higher point. When we stand leafless and apparently lifeless, our soul having become like a tree in winter, let us not dream that the axe will cut us down, for our substance is in us though we have lost our leaves, and before long the time of the singing of birds will come, we shall feel the genial warmth of returning spring, and our lives shall again be covered with blossoms, and laden with fruit.
It will not be wonderful if there should be lulls and pauses in our spiritual work, for we see the like in the affairs of men. The most eager after worldly objects, who can by no means be accused of a want of earnestness in their endeavours, are yet conscious that, by a sort of law, dull times will come, wherein business necessarily flags. It is not the tradesman’s fault that, sometimes, trade must be pushed, and that after pushing it remains as dull as ever. It seems to be the rule that there should be years of great prosperity, and then years of decline; the lean kine still devour the fat kine. If men were not what they are, there might be a perpetuity of equable progress, but it is evident that we have not reached that point yet.