"The One Thing Needful" #1015)
Around us are a thousand entangling things.
I see all around me a crowd of alluring,
fascinating, pleasurable and dazzling things.
Pleasure calls to me; I hear her siren song.
Philosophy and learning charm me;
fain would I yield my heart to them.
This world is very much like the pools we have
heard of in India, in which grows a long grass of
so clinging a character that, if a man once falls
into the water, it in almost certain to be his death,
for only with the utmost difficulty could he be
rescued from the meshes of the deadly, weedy
net, which immediately wraps itself around him.
This world is even thus entangling.
All the efforts of grace are needed to preserve
men from being ensnared with the deceitfulness
of riches, and the cares of this life . . .
the ledger demands you,
the shop requires you,
the warehouse bell rings for you;
the theater invites,
the ballroom calls.
You must live, you say, and you must have
a little enjoyment, and, consequently,
you give your heart to the world.
These things, I say, are very entangling;
but we must be disentangled from them,
for we cannot afford to lose our souls.
"What shall it profit a man if he gains
the whole world and lose his own soul?"
If a ship is going down, and a passenger has
his gold in a bag about him, see how he acts.
With regret he flings his bag of treasure down
upon the deck, for his life is dearer than gold.
If he may but save his life, he is willing to lose
all else besides.
Oh, sirs! for the one thing needful, all
entangling things must be given up.