Monday, May 31, 2010
Leaves of Gold
I recently obtained a copy of an old book entitled Leaves of Gold; one I know that I have looked through as a child from some other person’s library. I will periodically share some of the tried and true tidbits from within. One that spoke to me so clearly is entitled “Trouble” and reads this way:
I think that human life is much like road life. You stand on a hill, and look down and across the valley, and another prodigious hill lifts itself upon the other side. The day is hot, your horse is weary, and you are tired; and it seems to you that you cannot climb that long hill. But you had better trot down the hill you are on, and not trouble yourself about the other one. You find the valley pleasant and inspiring. When you get across it, you meet only a slight ascent, and begin to wonder where the steep hill is which you saw. You drive along briskly, and when you reach the highest point, you find that there has not been an inch of the hill over which you have not trotted. You see that it was illusory. The slight ascent looked almost like a perpendicular steep; but when you come to pass over it, step by step, you find it to be a good traveling road.
So it is with your troubles. Just in that way your anticipations of mischief hang before you; and when you come to where they are, you find them to be all smooth turnpikes. Men ought to be ashamed, after they have done that two or three times, not to take the hint, and profit by it; yet they will not. They will suffer from anticipated troubles just as much as though they had no such experience. They have not wit enough to make use of the lesson which their life is continually teaching them; namely, that a large majority of the troubles which they worry themselves about beforehand either never come or are easily borne. They form a habit of fretting about future troubles. It was not the old monks alone who wore sackcloth and hair shirts; you wear them as much as they did; only you wear them inside, while they wore them outside~ you wear them in your heart, they wore them on their skins. They were wiser then you are.(p 23)
Henry Ward Beecher
Clyde Francis Lytle, edt. (1956). Leaves of Gold. Williamsport, PA: The Coslett Publishing Company.