RICHES THROUGH IMPOVERISHMENT
“With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matt. 7:2).
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6).
Life is not enriched by selfishness, but by sacrifice. Life only becomes fruitful when it becomes sacrificial. This is true concerning our influence upon one another; it seems ordained that life has to attain a certain fervor of sacrifice before it can become contagious and multiply itself throughout the race. On the cold planes of calculation and selfishness life is unimpressive, and its products leave the general life unmoved. It is even so with a poem, a painting, a sermon, or with a courtesy. The measure of its impressiveness is just the measure of the sacrifice of which it is the shrine. What is there in it? What “virtue” has gone out of him? Just so much will be the measure of healing. Just what he lost will be our gain; he becomes fruitful where he touches sacrifice.
But let us say more—the poet himself is the gainer by so much as he lost. The spirit of sacrifice not only impresses others, it fertilizes self. In the fervent atmosphere of sacrifice buried seeds of possibility awake into life, which in an air of cold calculation remain in their graves—powers of perception, of resolution, of effort; in the tropical heat of sacrifice they spring into strength and beauty. I say, therefore, that the spirit of sacrifice enriches self, while yet it fertilizes others. Our giving is our getting.—J. H. Jowett.
Where is the school for each and all,
Where men become as children small,
And little ones are great?
Where love is all the task and rule,
The fee our all, and all at school,
Small, poor, of low estate?
Where to unlearn all things I learn,
From self and from all others turn,
One Master hear and see?
I learn and do one thing alone,
And wholly give myself to One
Who gives Himself to me.
My task, possessing nought, to give;
No life to have, yet ever live—
And ever losing, gain. . . .