Few of us, perhaps, realize to what extent our desires shape our careers. Yet, if we but examine our past in the light of Christian Science, we perceive that from the time when as children we cried for prohibited sweets, until in maturity we madly scrambled after the whims and fancies of drifting desire, our experiences have been harmonious or discordant according as the "I-wants" have been based upon or have fallen below the Christly standard of self-immolation.

We see how personal desire and mortal self have all too often banded together to seek the destruction of true happiness, and how we have yielded without a murmur to their unlawful rule, until, inveigled into their castle of anticipations, we become their unresting slaves. Here, however, through the penalties inflicted upon us, we finally learn with what cruelty these satanic majesties wield their asserted but baseless power, and to what selfish ends they demand obedience from their subjects. We discover, too, the subtlety with which they would make us the victims of failure, blockade the higher pathway, dethrone our ideals, and fetter moral strength. Though personal desire be disguised as the queen of all joy, it is but a fleeting phantom. Self is but the straw-man of false belief whom we ourselves have placed upon the throne where the divine idea of man rightly belongs.

Shall we then continue to listen to the deceptive whisperings which so persistently argue that this or that personal desire fulfilled will bring us into all joy, only to be cast upon the barren shores of discontent, until we voluntarily offer up each self-centered desire to Him who will turn and overturn until the right desire shall reign? With spiritualized aspirations established in consciousness, self is banished forever and Principle rules supreme. So does the coming of right desire destroy all wrong desire, and prove the truth of Ezekiel's statement: "Son of man, behold, I [God, good] take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke [liberate thee from material obsession]." Upon the altar of self-sacrifice the strained tension of fear and self-will gives place to patient waiting on the divine, while the ceaseless, fretful strivings of personal impulse are supplanted by the quietness of those immortal cravings by which assurance is gained of the certain attainment of all good. In such assurance we receive the supreme joy of realizing; it is never a question of what we want, but of what God wants; never of what is best for personal self, but of what is best for all.

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February 8, 1913

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