The Simple Life
The True Christian Life is the Safe, Sensible, Simple Life.
THE LESSON—That speed and greed must of necessity end in dire disaster.
It is a splendid thing to teach the boys and girls the lesson that true happiness attends the quiet, yet active life, while the race after vain things brings only bitterness and disappointment.
[Because of the details in the drawing of the boat, it is advisable, we think, to complete Fig. 64 before beginning the talk.]
"In these days the very air seems filled with the 'speed germ.' Automobiles whiz here and there, and many a hen which now tries to cross the country road never gets more than half way. We who live in town have to keep a sharp lookout or we are apt to share the fate of many a valuable Buff Cochin or Plymouth Rock. Trains speed along their glistening rails faster than ever before. Great ships skim across the ocean in days instead of weeks. The aeroplane, which needs neither steel rails nor water to glide upon, darts through space still more rapidly. Everybody seems to be in a hurry, whether he is or not. We are impatient if the street car is half a minute late, when we are fully aware that we have plenty of time to reach our destination.
"Again, we fret and work because we aren't getting rich fast enough. We get mad at our neighbor because he buys an automobile and despise him because we can't figure where he got the money with which to do it. We aren't satisfied with having $50,000. We want $500,000. And if we should get it, we would be just as dissatisfied and go chasing after a million. What's the matter with us? Are we crazy? Some women spend $50,000 a year on their clothes, whose mothers dressed better, looked better, felt better and were better on $500 or even a single hundred! In our mad chase after vain things how blind we are to the things of true worth and usefulness!
"Every little while we get a shock that ought to bring us to our senses. When we learn of a terrible railroad wreck, we may expect to find the blame placed on someone for disobeying orders, or for other carelessness, but the true cause in nearly every instance is the cry of the public—of you and me and the other fellow—for speed—more speed—and still more speed!
(Complete Fig 64 before beginning talk.)
"The greatest marine disaster in the world's history was the staking of the magnificent White Star line steamship, the Titanic, in April, 1912. [Remove your cover sheet and display Fig. 64.] Larger, faster and more costly than any vessel ever before built, it left its docks with its hundreds of passengers and members of the crew—a floating city in itself. Among the passengers were many whose names are recorded on the rolls of the world's greatest scientists, financiers, artists and authors. With eager, happy hearts, they looked forward to the celebration in New York which awaited the arrival of this foremost of the world's floating palaces. Alas, it was never to be! The story is too horrible for repetition. The fatal collision with the great iceberg—the heroism, the sacrifice, the loss of hundreds of precious lives as the vessel plunged into the depths of the ocean, are known in all their horror. [Add lines to produce Fig. 65.] The few in the lifeboats, looking toward the sinking vessel, heard the ship's band playing 'Nearer, My God, to Thee,' as the great ship, with its living load sank from sight. Hundreds of broken hearts still mourn the loss of dear ones, and all because the big, loaded ship was forced to run a race with time! Those in charge knew of the presence of the icebergs. They could have saved the loss by changing their route or slackening their speed, but the cry was, 'Hurry! Hurry! Break the record!'
"Aren't we all doing the same thing! The speed mania possesses us. The senseless race for worldly wealth and honor blinds us to the presence of threatened disaster. Let us quickly change our course. Christ our Master, points the way of safety. He has gone that way himself, and he asks each humble follower to take the course which He has so plainly marked out. It is the way of truth and peace. If we take it, we shall avoid every danger of a spiritual crash, which may mean disaster for soul as well as body."
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