Krauss Paul H-11 Dec 1959-0001
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THE STRENUOUS LIFE,- FOR WHAT? A paper read by Dr. Paul H. Krauss to the Quest Club Friday, December 11, 1959. In this warm-hearted season of universal good will, the Quest Club has made an appropriate tradition of contemplating the deeper meanings of life, its best goals and essential values at the last noon-day meeting before'Christmas. This year the assigned subject is "The Strenuous Life,- For What?" Is the pressure of life too great? "The Strenuous Life" is a familiar expression, associated, with one of the greatest of our presidents, some years ago. The addition of the question, however, adds a new consideration. Perhaps there is a cynical touch to that "For What?" Does it mean that we are beginning to doubt the "livableness".of life? Does the mounting pressure of the daily round, the sense of exhaustion, the compulsion of keep* ing up with the show prompt that additional question "For What?" Is the game worth the candle? Is the driving structure of our social order making slaves of those who should be free? The complaint of Alice in "Through the Looking-Glass" as she is jerked from square to square across the checkerboard of life "Why do we hurry so?" and the Red Queen's answer "Child, we've got to hurry like this just to keep up with where we are," is a symbol of our modern plight. Life seems too much for even the most strenuous. With the breaking of space barriers the universe has become so vast, the threat of nuclear destruction so fearful^ the tensions rising between races have become so acute that men are wondering, perhaps subconsciously, whether there is any ultimate meaning to the whole business after all. Why is this so? Why does life leave many people breathless today? Have we set our sights too high? Are we getting exhausted by having to tend the great machines of civilization we have invented? For the answer to these questions, let us ask three others? What is Life? What is it for? How shall it be lived? What is Life? The official definitions of life are myriad. Life is "a permanent possibility of sensation." John Stuart Mill doesn't help much with this definition, because man isn't permanent on this earth. That we are "possibilities of sensation" is obvious, but not much help. "Man" says Will Durant cynically, "is a forked radish - one of the higher order of Vertebrates who has worsted his competitors in the struggle for existence." "We are huge perambulating charges of electricity" contributes the Cambridge physicist, Alfred North Whitehead. "Life", cries MacBeth, 'is a poor player who struts and frets his hour on the stage, and then is known no more,- a tale told by an idiot signifying nothing." Sons of God! What moods of despair! Is there any voice of courage, any hope or light on the orizon, any promise of joy? Ah, yes, to get the true answer, listen to the Advent ells and Christmas Carols! They strike mankind's authentic notes of joys- "Rejoice — and again I say, rejoice" 9 \ "Lift up your hearts — for your redemption L» from sin and despair, from exhaustion and m defeat — draws nigh." v ~What do we mean by "redemption"? We mean redemption from doubts about the livable- ■ness of life. We mean redemption from spiritual aloneness and despair! What warrant is there for this optimism? Christmas reveals at the heart of the world an infinite Love, making sense and beauty for the life of man. We are not orphans, lonely in a meaningless universe. God has made us a "little lower than the Angels." We are called to be "sons of God." Here is the answer to our questions. This is why we have the right to live life strenuously and buoyantly. One can only have a strenuous, buoyant and happy life, if he have deep roots in the reality and friendship of God. Then he can hail the Lights| then he can sing "Rejoice." "I am come" sounds a voice from the Cradle of Bethlehem "that ye might have life." Life,- in the light of the Christmas Revelation,- is not a "dog fight around a platter." It is a pilgrimage, and a schooling, and an unfolding grace for the children of God. "Man is not" as Sir Arthur Balfour quoted "a midge on the epidermis of one of the minor planets." Life is the gift of a Benevolent Creator, Whose sons we are,- unworthy though we be,- and in Whose service we find freedom. (Some of you may have, with me, a vivid memory of the Television picture of the Coronation of the present Queen Elizabeth of England, that,scene in Westminster Abbey in which the assembled Pomp and Circumstance of Western Civilization were present, the Archbishop of Canterbury addressing her Majesty and saying, "The Lords and Bishops of your Majesty's Empire, by the Grace of God.
|ItemId||Krauss Paul H-11 Dec 1959|
|Title||The Strenuous Life, for What?|
|Author||Krauss, Paul H.|
|Publisher||Allen County Public Library|
|Original format||6 p. ; 28 cm.|
|Source||Quest Club of Fort Wayne|
|Rights||Members of the Quest Club authorize the Allen County Public Library to digitize and publish past, present and future Quest Club papers for dissemination on the Allen County Public Library website (Board of Directors of Quest Club, Inc., Resolution of May 2010).|