The story is told of a little boy who went to church with his grandmother on Easter Sunday. Up behind the pulpit, a large cross had been erected for the occasion. The little boy was very interested in the things around him, and with some of his recent arithmetic experience fresh in his mind, he said to his grandmother, “Why do they have the big plus sign up in the front of the church?”
And that is a pretty good church question. It is a pretty good business question. It also has some important applications for life itself. The little boy had been impressed with what a great difference a plus sign could make in his arithmetic answers. It could make two fours into an eight, whereas a minus sign made the same two fours into a zero. But as this little boy learns the important lessons of success, he will discover that other plus and minus signs will make as much difference in life’s answers as they do in the problems of his arithmetic class. If he uses enough pluses in life he will discover that doing right is a far more thrilling experience than doing wrong. Positive thinking and living are much more rewarding than their negative counterparts. What a great difference in the result when we put some plus signs by honesty, courage, faith, industry and spirituality!
Jesus put the plus sign on good works as he kept calling for doers of the word rather than hearers only. Emerson said, “The world belongs to the energetic.” That means a plus sign. A well-developed energy quickens every faculty in life.
There is far too much talk among us about the danger of wearing ourselves out by work. Dr. H. O. Thompson says that too many people are being counseled to take life easier when they should be counseled to take their responsibilities more seriously and discharge them with an increased vigor. The best way to get rested, is to speed up. For when we get ahead of our work we love it and it is easy. When it gets ahead of us we hate it and it becomes difficult.
Someone has said that the tired businessman is the one whose business is not successful. We might make a similar application to our efforts in that great enterprise that Jesus characterized as “my Father’s business/’ In either undertaking no one gets tired while he is ahead. Whether our work is physical, mental, social or spiritual, it is still true that “the pace that kills is the crawl.”
It is one of the interesting truisms of life that the Lord fits the back to the burden. That calls for a plus sign. We can get a stronger back by undertaking a heavier load. We can develop greater energy and more ability by increasing our effort. Dr. Thompson believes that most people who suffer from spasms or fatigue are not really tired at all. They are merely bored or discouraged or lack of an absorbing purpose in life. These traits all carry minus signs. More rest and inactivity usually increases the problem rather than producing an answer. Good, hard, meaningful work is one of the best all-purpose medicines ever discovered.
Abraham Lincoln was once told that his eyes looked tired and that he should rest. The President replied that it was his heart that was tired, and in order to rest his heart he must go on. That is still the best procedure. Not many people ever get sick because of worthwhile work. We can live long, interesting, useful lives if we have erected enough plus signs, whereas the minus signs signify evil and evil shortens our lives.
“The Law of the Harvest” Sterling W. Sill pg. 181
“God ADDS everything to life and satan ADS everything in life.” s.a.w.