The Twelve Greatest Things Series–Struggle

Twelve Greatest Things In Life

First in his list of The Twelve Greatest Things In Human Life, Doctor Holland named Love. This month comes sturdy Struggle. Some of our friends are memorizing the short chapters; others are pasting them up in scrapbooks.

Hello, again History Lovers!

The new year brought with it a new series to The Farmer’s Wife Magazine–the Twelve Greatest Things In Life–written by Reverend John W. Holland. The series was originally published in monthly installments by THE FARMER’S WIFE–A MAGAZINE FOR FARM WOMEN. Each month’s article featured a topic regarding the human condition, therefore the topics are as pertinent today as they were in 1926. Installments of this series will be posted on the first Sunday of every month throughout 2022.

My sincerest apologies for posting a week late. Blogging was trumped by a ski weekend with my children and grandchildren. 😉

Struggle

“I AM almost as ancient as Love. Although called by many names and often cursed by foolish men, I remain unchanged.

I am the guardian of all good, for I test everything. In my furnace fires, all minerals have been burned so that only the best were left.

When Life appeared on the earth, I pounced upon it and beset its pathway with so-many difficulties that only the strong remained.

As the trees sprang from the fertile earth, I whipped them with many storms so that they which endured might have fiber strong enough to stand.

When Man came in innocence from the Creative Hand and fell into wrongdoing, I stood by him and helped him to win strong virtues in the place of his lost innocence.

Men sometimes rebel at me but they can have no great destiny without me. I am rough on the exterior but my hands are lined with velvet. I am the unwelcome trainer of all things that would grow.

I cradled a boy in poverty. I took away his mother and drove him out among rough men to win his lonely way. I denied him the schooling of the cultured and compelled him to labor in sorrow in a wilderness. I broke his heart by stealing from him the sweetheart of his youth. I battered at his brain till he was almost frenzied. I fed him the bread of poverty but through it all, I watched over him, enlarged his sympathies, quickened his brain, till at last, Lincoln, arose like a colossus among the saviors of the race.

Cowards and weaklings are afraid of me but I know the only things that will make real men of them. Women who are foolish enough to try to shield themselves from me sink into nothingness.

I temper the heart and sinew of the athlete by making him fight and work for his laurels.

I gave to virtue its divine quality by compelling it to fight to the death its sinful enemies.

I make bread sweet in man’s mouth by his very labor for it.

When earth needs prophets, I prepare scorpion whips for the hands of those who scourge the backs of the good.

I make the noblest music of the world from the anguish of suffering.

Would you be well? Then fight the enemies of health. Do you desire to become wise? Dig for the gold of wisdom. Would you be noble? Master every lurking secret weakness within you. Would you be a saint? Annihilate sinning.

Men desire easy paths to glory. I refuse them utterly, for my noblest crown is a Crown of Thorns, and life’s sweetest bliss is the memory of a conquered sorrow.

The angel that you desire to carve I have hidden for you in the hard block of marble.

My name is Struggle!”

FWM

The above article was published in The Farmer’s Wife–A Magazine For Farm Women, February 1926; Webb Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minnesota. Articles may be edited for length and clarity.