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that other people ought to count to us. Is it not possible that some one near us is actually thinking this very same thing about himself? If he is, it is our business to make his thought a mistake by showing in our manner and spirit that we care. The quickest cure for loneliness is the effort to cure a case of it in some one else.

Second Week, Second Day

The sense of things lost out of life often makes for solitariness. To waken one day to the fact that we are not so fine as we used to be in spirit or in life, no matter how much we have advanced in other ways, is depressing to us. This 42nd psalm came from a man who felt himself banished from the things that had once meant most to him. Such a loss may come from the fault of other people or it may be one's own act.

As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
So panteth my soul after thee, O God.

My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
These things I remember, and pour out my soul within me.
How I went with the throng, and led them to the house of


With the voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping holy day.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
And why art thou disquieted within me?

Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him
For the help of his countenance.

-Psalm 42: 1-5.

Many a college senior, while he laughs at the crude enthusiasms of the freshman, knows down in his heart that he has lost something good out of his life in the years of his course. He has made great gains, of course, but he has left behind some values which he wishes he could recover. Think over some of the better things that can be lost in college. When the experiences of the past are finer than those of the present, any of us must grow thoughtful about himself. And it is all the more important when we find ourselves

among people without those memories, who are contemptuous about our losses and make light of the higher level from which we have slipped away. Of one fact we are never to lose hold: it is always possible to face forward again by facing upward. We can challenge our own souls to remember that God still has high levels on which we are to walk; the future under his guidance is to be better than the past, no matter what the present may be.

Second Week, Third Day

Robert Browning wanted men to remember him as one who had kept sure of God. Here are two experiences which either shake one's assurance of God or deepen it: desertion by those on whom one has depended, and the feeling of suspicion and falsehood in the atmosphere. The Arabs have a saying: "God could not be everywhere, so He made mothers." A better way is to say that God is everywhere and has made mothers to keep us sure of it. Yet even these may fail, and if not these, then others who have been our mainstay. The men on whose cheer and encouragement we have depended fail us; they are busy or they are fallible; but their failure leaves us solitary.

When my father and my mother forsake me,

Then Jehovah will take me up.
Teach me thy way, O Jehovah;

And lead me in a plain path,
Because of mine enemies.

Deliver me not over unto the will of mine adversaries:

For false witnesses are risen up against me,

And such as breathe out cruelty.

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of Jehovah

In the land of the living.

Wait for Jehovah:

Be strong, and let thy heart take courage;
Yea, wait thou for Jehovah.

-Psalm 27: 10-14.

Sometimes the loneliness deepens as we find the air charged with suspicion; the very breath of men is cruel. What can we do? We can keep going without fainting. That is the

very knack of brave living. Waiting is hard, but we are equal to it. Many things clear up with time and we can hold steady in the expectation of the ruling of God. Perhaps we can learn to talk less about our troubles to other people and more about them to God. This will help to make us feel less solitary.

Second Week, Fourth Day

Oh how great is thy goodness,

Which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee, Which thou hast wrought for them that take refuge in thee,

Before the sons of men!

In the covert of thy presence wilt thou hide them from the plottings of man:

Thou wilt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife

of tongues.

Blessed be Jehovah;

For he hath showed me his marvellous lovingkindness in a strong city.

As for me, I said in my haste,

I am cut off from before thine eyes:
Nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications,
When I cried unto thee.

-Psalm 31: 19-22.

That is characteristic of moods of depression: they tend to hasty judgments, to sweeping generalizations of evil. The writer of the 116th psalm said in his haste that all men are liars. In our cooler, clearer moods we know that we are not cut off from before God's eyes and that all men are not liars. When we are depressed, downcast, solitary, we look out badly on the world. At such times we need to guard our judgments with special care. After a defeat in debate or a failure of any sort we are not to allow ourselves to form sweepingly adverse opinions. Indeed, it is important that any adverse judgment should be deliberate and long considered. The long view is the fair one. It shows the goodness of God. That is a striking figure in our passage for the day which speaks of his goodness as "laid up" or stored up in supply for them that fear him, but as "wrought" for those who take refuge in him. God is willing to do a great

deat for us which he is given no chance to do. He does not promise to keep us today from evil tongues, but to steady our hearts. He may not give us friends at once, but he is sure to be friendly to us himself. Whatever happens to us today, let us see to it that we do not fall into pessimism and adverse judgments about God and our fellow men. "God is not discouraged," and we need not be.

Second Week, Fifth Day

Sing unto God, sing praises to his name:

Cast up a highway for him that rideth through the deserts; His name is Jehovah; and exult ye before him.

A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, Is God in his holy habitation.

God setteth the solitary in families:

He bringeth out the prisoners into prosperity;
But the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

-Psalm 68: 4-6.

This is a bit from a long psalm which it would do us good to read throughout. It moves through many moods from the heights to the depths. The keynote of this little bit and of much else in the psalm is that verse about God setting the solitary in families. The social group is God's plan, not a mere human device. No man can get into the world except in a social group of at least three-himself, his father, and his mother. In this deepest biological sense the solitary are set in families. No man of us has been able to get on as far as we have in life except by the cooperation of social forces. We may feel solitary, but we actually are not solitary or we could not exist. God does not mean any man to remain in the solitary mood. He is to find his group. Even in the desert he is to help cast up a highway for God. But highways always mean a social order. Where there are few people the roads are poor; as people increase roads improve. Fine highways mean deepening social conscious


It takes the group to get anything done. Chronic rebels always dwell in parched places. Sometimes we pride ourselves on being able to criticize social movements and not being caught in mistaken plans. The fact is we had better be fooled a hundred times than fail to take our places in

the social order which needs us. Pride in the solitary mood is a far worse mistake than occurs in any social plan. God means us today to get into the movements that belong to our group, curing our solitariness by our service of the whole. Have we the grit to do it,in spite of our mood?

Second Week, Sixth Day

My soul, wait thou in silence for God only;
For my expectation is from him.

He only is my rock and my salvation:

He is my high tower; I shall not be moved.
With God is my salvation and my glory:

The rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Trust in him at all times, ye people;
Pour out your heart before him:
God is a refuge for us.

-Psalm 62: 5-8.

Here again is that difficult duty of waiting, only this time it is to be waiting in silence. Yesterday was the plea to get into the task and do our share. There come times when we cannot do it, though the fault is not our own. We simply have to wait. Some of us realize this only when we are laid aside by sickness or when things get so complicated that there is no end by which we can lay hold to untangle them. It is well for us to remember that there are some people whose whole lives are lived under just such limitations. The deepest dark of the solitary mood often is that nothing better seems in prospect. If there were something to look forward to- ! But far as we can see it all looks the same. Most business moves forward on "expectations." So do most lives. When expectation fails, it takes hard thinking to keep courage up.

After all, one of the surest cures for solitariness of a bad sort is getting a sense of bigger and more abiding realities than men can furnish. Napoleon said to his generals, “I beg you, gentlemen, plan by larger maps." Here at hand is the cure for much loneliness. God furnishes the larger environment of the soul. When we can do the thing that needs to be done, we ought to do it, but when we have to wait, it is not for common human forces to work out their result, it is for God. "The battle is not yours but Jehovah's."

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