FREE WILL OR FATE
The capriciousness of destiny was a favorite subject with the old-fashioned novelists. In their three volume world, people’s lives were at the mercy of trifling accidents from day to day. A person’s whole life was spoiled because one letter was stolen or went astray. The hero rose from obscurity to wealth and fame through meeting a casual stranger in a railroad car, or through saving someone from drowning at the seashore. One false step ruined an otherwise promising career. One tum of fortune’s wheel solved all problems for someone else. All this is nonsense. We are not at the mercy of accidents for there are no accidents, and trifles have only trifling effects. In the long run you demonstrate your character; and you cannot ultimately miss the mark for which you are fitted, because of any outer accident. A particular incident may give you a temporary advantage or cause you passing grief or inconvenience, but It does not change your life’s story. An energetic and enterprising man who attends to his business will make a success of his life whether he meets a helpful stranger in a railroad car or not–and whether a particular letter concerning him is lost or not. The miscarriage of a letter may deprive him of a particular position; meeting with a helpful and influential stranger may bring his success a little sooner; but if he has the qualities demanded for success he will succeed in any case. And if he lacks those qualities no help from the outside can make him successful.
No nation is destroyed by the loss of one battle. When a nation is weak in natural resources and divided within itself, it cannot stand; but it is this structural weakness that brings about its fall. If it were united, well organized, and armed, it could lose that battle and still. win the war. Your own character makes or breaks you. This is true of the individual, of a nation, of a party, of a church, or of any institution.
If you seem to yourself to be lacking in certain necessary qualities, if your character seems to lack strength, ask God to give you what you need-and He Will. You can build any quality into your mentality by meditating upon that quality every day.
I love the library.
When others reject you, let God accept you.
what part of no did you not understand?