The Unsubstantiality of Obstacles

One summer afternoon a group of friends were cruising in a motorboat off the New England coast. On the return trip to their home port in the evening, they saw directly ahead of them a large and long island. They changed their course so as to go around it. After some time it was discovered that they were making no headway toward encircling it; that it was just as long and just as much in their way as before.

Then one of the party suggested that they find a chart, if possible, for that section of the coast and get their bearings. With the light of a lantern this was done, and a discovery of much importance to them was made. There was no island in that area. Learning from the chart of the unsubstantiality of what they had believed to be a formidable obstacle, they fearlessly changed their course, sailed through the apparent obstruction, which was only a mirage, and on to their destination.

Human experience is pretty much filled with obstacles. There seem to be many obstacles between men and success, many between them and health and happiness. Life often appears to be much like an obstacle race in which many fail to surmount the obstacles. There are the obstacles of limitation that often seem closely allied to oneself—inability, inferiority, and sometimes encumbering inheritances. Then there are the obstacles in one's way that appear as human persons. Some such may be dominant or overly solicitous relatives, business, social, or political rivals that seem to be lions in one's path. Unhappy physical environment, unappreciative superiors, the hampering effects of sinful habits, the restrictions imposed by physical affliction, and the lack of material resources are other obstacles common to human existence.

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April 20, 1946

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