There have been many good and enlightening articles written on true ambition, and is it any wonder that it comes to so many individuals to endeavor to throw light on a subject of such universal interest? Ambition has always been regarded in human experience as an admirable and even an essential quality, with such a high premium placed on its development that Christian Scientists learn very early in their study the necessity for differentiating between false human ambition and that which Mrs. Eddy defines so clearly in her Message for 1902, when she says, "It does not follow that power must mature into oppression; indeed, right is the only potency; and the only true ambition is to serve God and to help the race."

How early in human experience does the world recommend developing the ambitious outlining of material endeavors and results! Is it not often, too often, the case that parents are eagerly speculating with and encouraging the children in their homes, with the hope that they may discover some "leaning" or tendency toward things mechanical or things musical, toward literature, art, law, and so on, thinking perhaps that when such a discovery is made, the attainment of these juvenile ambitions may be strengthened and encouraged? How often these early human aspirations would be proved deceptions of the most disappointing sort if human beings were compelled to pursue the vocation throughout their experience that they pictured as ideal and selected as their preference in their very early youth.

Does not this same result follow in other experiences when human ambition is given recognition? How frequently have we all thought at some time in our experience, and perhaps oftener than we realize, that if we could simply attain some certain position in life, a certain definite income, or some other of innumerable gilded goals, that we would be perfectly happy and in a much better position to do good, unhampered by the struggle that we seem to be experiencing to maintain our position in society! If we would but stop and reason, we would discover that the "struggle" is not necessary in maintaining our rightful place in the world, but is a struggle that we are imposing upon ourselves in the very act of trying to materialize some human ambition. The banishment of the struggle for this material gain and the renewal of our trust in God's ability to place correctly, direct, and protect every right idea, would effectually solve our problem and give us the same clear understanding the psalmist must have had of the futility of human ambition when he wrote, "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

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May 8, 1920

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