Never Mind; What Am I To Do Next?
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
YEARS ago there was a young medical student in England, who failed to pass his examinations, upon the passing of which, it was expected his future success would depend. He was mortified and deeply disappointed, but was philosophical and said to himself, " Never mind. What is the next thing to be done?" And finding the duty nearest at hand, he performed it to the best of his ability; and he formed the habit of allowing the little disappointments and defeats to slip into the past without undue regret, that he might save his strength for the next duty that awaited him. This young medical student became Professor Huxley, who, after he had achieved his wide influence and lofty eminence as a scientist, said: " It does not matter how many tumbles you have in life, as long as you do not get dirty when you tumble. It is only the people who have to stop and be washed who must lose the race."
How much time and energy are wasted in fretting over mistakes which might or might not have been avoided, which ought to be employed in the performance of the new duties which demand attention. There is a merciful adjustment by Divine Providence in the race of life, by which many chances are given to each one. If the speed is too great, the racers can drop into another class ; if there is defeat in one contest, there are other paths and other contests that can be tried. The temporary defeats and disappointments of life may bring wisdom, but should never cause deep discouragement. They should rather prompt new courage and energy to enter successfully upon the next task to be done. It is only when the defeats of life cause whining, sourness and bitterness, that they hurt.
In the religious world, very many brood and grieve over mistakes and sins that ought to be allowed to pass under the blood of Christ, and, by so doing have not the courage and strength for the new duty to be performed. It is through disappointment, trial, temptation and temporary defeat that the soul is to build up the strongest character and the holiest life. There must be no unnecessary repining at falling down ; only the deep determination to get up again at once. Most of the disappointments and defeats are the dust that settles on the garments of the racer as he falls, but which is easily shaken from them as he arises and runs to win the prize.