A Man's Life, Manvotionals

Manvotional: Albert Jeremiah Beveridge’s The Young Man and the World

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We’ve written before on the importance of spending time with Mother Nature. The modern man’s life with all it’s stress, expectations, and constraints can suffocate your man spirit and extinguish your vim and vigor. In this excerpt from Albert Jeremiah Beveridge’s The Young Man and the World, we’re reminded how Nature can help restore our physical and spiritual strength. With the weather cooling and the leaves turning, now is a great time to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

Spend some time with Nature, too. The people and Nature—they alone contain the elemental forces. They alone are unartificial, unexhausted. You will be surprised at the strength you will get from a day in the woods. I do not mean physical strength alone, but mental vigor and spiritual insight.

The old fable of Antæus is so true that it is almost literally true. Every time he touched the earth when thrown, that common mother of us all gave him new strength; and, rising, he came to the combat as fresh as when he began.

Learn to know the trees; make friends with them. I know that this counsel will appear far-fetched if you have never cultivated the companionship of the woods. But try it, and keep on trying it, and you will find that there is such a thing as making friends with the trees. They will come to have a sort of personality for you.

No doubt this is all in your mind. No matter, it is good for you. It makes you more natural; that means that you are more simple, kindly, and truthful. What is more soothing and restorative than to stand quite still in field or forest and listen to the thousand mingled sounds that make up that wondrous melody which Nature is always playing on the numberless strings of her golden harp. Learn the peace which that music brings to you.

In short, cultivate Nature, get close to Nature. Try to get Nature to give you what she has for you as earnestly as you try to get what you want in business; and your days and nights will be glorified with a beauty and strength the existence of which you would have denied before you experienced their blessings.

But, of course, you must work for the benefits you get from Nature, just as you must work for everything worth having. You cannot quit your office and say, “Now I shall take a ten-minutes’ walk in the park and commune with Nature.” Nature is not to be courted in any such way. She does not fling her favors at your feet—not until you have won her utterly. Then all of the wealth and power which Nature has for those who love her are yours in a profuse and exhaustless opulence.


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