Now I want to turn aside here a bit, and say this: we men need a world to win. The world needs winning. There's no doubt of that. And just as really we men need a world to win. We need the impetus and stimulus, the grip and the swing of having a world to win. The Master's command fits with great exactness into the need of our lives.
Every man needs a great purpose to grip his life. So he is anchored and held steady against the world's tidal movements. If he isn't tied to some great gripping purpose the wash of the sea will send him adrift, or the fierce undertow will suck him under. And many are adrift. And many are in the deadly suction of the undertow.
Jesus' command provides the great purpose that every man needs to hold him steady and to bring out, and bring out best, all the splendid powers with which we are endowed. When we are not gripped by the great purpose planned for us we swing off into smaller, meaner purposes.
I mean, of course, those of us who are awake. Many people are habitual somnambulists. All their walking and moving about is done in a state of sleep. Some men never wake up. They go through the motions of life so far as they must. The mechanism of habit keeps certain motions going, but the real man within is asleep or dozing, with occasional spells of being sleepily awake.
But men who are awake, and doing something, find a vent for their energy on some lower level. The God-given energy will move out and stir itself to action. But, having somehow missed the real purpose planned for them, they allow the lower purposes to grip them. They organize great affairs, or less great, industrial, intellectual, political, fraternal, social, and spend their energy on these. It is the response they make to the call of their natures for some great gripping purpose. But it looks very much like another case of meeting a request for bread with cold hard stones.
These things in themselves are right, of course; so far as they are right. They belong in the scheme of life. They should be given full place in one's life. But that place is always a distinctly secondary place. They belong in as number two.
A Christian business man gives most of the day and year to his business, and gives of the best of his thought and strength to it. But if he have gotten his bearings straight, his business is not in first place. It is made to serve something higher. It earns the gold with which to finance the great purpose of Jesus' life, and of his own life, namely, the purpose of winning men, and of winning a whole world of them. How it would sweeten business and fraternal and social contacts and friendships, if the salt of this great purpose seasoned them!