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Wishing and Working

Many people wish to be in different circumstances or conditions from those they occupy, not realizing that they themselves are alone to blame for their circumstances, which are the result of their former habits and desires. Do you doubt this? or think it a cruel thing if it is so? Well! there would be no justice in the world if it were not so; we are the arbiters of our own fate, and while we rankle at the hardships of our lives, or the injustice of Fate, the hardships will continue; or while we speak against our neighbor, or hate our enemies (or those we think our enemies), is it likely, do you think, that our troubles will cease? The world is very like a looking-glass; smile at it, and you will see a smile reflected; frown at it, and you will see nothing but frowns in return; therefore be happy. But perhaps you remark: "That is easy to say, but you do not know my troubles." No! I do not; but I know they will never be lessened by a grumbling spirit, or by anxiety and worrying even. No; if we desire to be free from trouble we must work for that end, not wish for it—and how shall we work? what are we to do? We must remember the command, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God." But how are we to seek, and where? Seek to find all that is good in those around us, instead of fixing our gaze on the evil; hate no one, not even a wicked person; pity him, for he is working his own destruction; seek to root out the evils in our own lives, or rather to cultivate the good in us, by thinking of others more than self, by never repining about our lot in life, and by steadfastly looking only at "whatsoever is good, whatsoever is lovely"; In this way the evils of our lives will lose their hold on us, and gradually diminish and disappear. As to where we are to seek, we are told the "Kingdom of Heaven is within"; therefore as soon as we cease to think evil of our neighbors and begin to wish to do rightly, we shall feel welling up within us the Fount of Life and Love, which is the Source of every living thing—indeed, of the whole Universe. And are we not part of the Universe? a very small part, it is true, but a necessary part, or we should not be here; and if instead of worrying and agitating ourselves upon a variety of trifling things, we calmly try to walk in the right way; to love our neighbor, nay! even our enemy; to speak no evil of any one; to be kind and gentle to all we come in contact with; to work on in our employment with a integrity, and leave the result to God;—then we shall feel and know that God is everywhere, around us and within, and we shall feel ourselves to be an integral part of the Universe, pulsating only with the Breath of God; and in the fullness of time, doing only His will, thinking only His thoughts, then we shall be in Heaven, whether we are still in this world, or have passed beyond.

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