To be human is to long for something more, something beyond us. Fulfillment, peace, and lasting happiness, for no apparent reason, seem to have evaded us. We believe that we are meant for happiness and made for joy. Pain and suffering are somehow a mistake that should not be part of life.
It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.
Personal growth is often the result not of doing something new, but of seeing the same things in a new light. We all have mental maps of our world that we mistake for the actual territory. By clinging on to old maps we fail to see the true lie of the land and get lost.
Modern secularity has offered another way of dealing with religious pluralism. As religious traditions lose their importance as means of self-understanding and community identification, their differences and mutual exclusiveness diminish in importance. Alienation from any particular religious faith tends to move the question of religious particularity into the realm of indifference, as life is determined by nonreligious values and institutions. Yet secularity has been no more successful in establishing human community than has the religious vision. The competing claims of nationalism, economic imperialism, and ideological triumphalism are also demonic forms of particularity that have not been able to establish a new universality in human community.
You grow in grace and understanding by solving your daily problems as they arise, by the Practice of the Presence of God, by a tolerant attitude toward others, by plan horse sense (which is Divine Wisdom in you), by sincere and honest dealing at all times, and by cultivating a true sense of humor – which always brings us nearer to God. The great point is that life is to be met and mastered. Outer conditions and appearances are simply of no importance in themselves except as they supply material for growth.
He who has enough to satisfy what he wants, and nevertheless ceaselessly labors to acquire riches, either in order to obtain a higher social position, or that subsequently he may have enough to live without labor, or that his sons may become men of wealth and importance - all such are incited by a damnable avarice, sensuality and pride.
If the self-conception of novelty is the basic wonder of the universe, this eliciting of mind from the potentialities of world-stuff, and its intensification and increasing importance during evolution is the basic wonder of life.