Such a sensation Sunday's preacher made.
"Christian!" he cried, "what is your stock- in-trade?
Alas! Too often nil. No time to pray;
No interview with Christ from day to day,
A hurried prayer, maybe, just gabbled through;
A random text -- for any one will do."
Then gently, lovingly, with look intense,
He leaned towards us --
"Is this common sense?
No person in his rightful mind will try
To run his business so, lest by-and-by
The thing collapses, smirching his good name,
And he, insolvent, face the world with shame."
I heard it all; and something inly said
That all was true. The daily toil and press
Had crowded out my hopes of holiness.
Still, my old self rose, reasoning:
How can you,
With strenuous work to do --
Real slogging work -- say, how can you keep pace
With leisured folks? Why, you could grow in grace
If you had time . . . the daily Interview
Was never meant for those who wash and bake.
But yet a small Voice whispered:
"For My sake
Keep tryst with Me!
There are so many minutes in a day,
So spare Me ten.
It shall be proven, then,
Ten minutes set apart can well repay
You shall accomplish more
If you will shut your door
For ten short minutes just to watch and pray."
"Lord, if I do
Set ten apart for You"
(I dared, yes dared, to reason thus with Him)
"The baker's sure to come;
Or Jane will call
To say some visitor is in the hall;
Or I shall smell the porridge burning, yes,
And run to stop it in my hastiness.
There's not ten minutes, Lord, in all the day
I can be sure of peace in which to watch and pray."
But all that night,
With calm insistent might,
That gentle Voice spake softly, lovingly --
"Keep tryst with Me!
You have devised a dozen different ways
Of getting easy meals on washing days;
You spend much anxious thought on hopeless socks;
On moving ironmould from tiny frocks;
'Twas you who found
A way to make the sugar lumps go round;
You, who invented ways and means of making
Nice spicy buns for tea, hot from the baking,
When margarine was short . . . and can- not you
Who made the time to join the butter queue
Make time again for Me?
Yes, will you not, with all your daily striving,
Use woman's wit in scheming and con- triving
To keep that tryst with Me?"
Like ice long bound
On powdered frosty ground,
My erring will all suddenly gave way.
The kind soft wind of His sweet pleading blew,
And swiftly, silently, before I knew,
The warm love loosed and ran.
Life-giving floods began,
And so most lovingly I answered Him:
"Lord, yes, I will, and can.
I will keep tryst with Thee, Lord, come what may!"
It is a wondrous and surprising thing
How that ten minutes takes the piercing sting
From vexing circumstance and poison- ous dart
Hurled by the enemy straight at my heart.
So, to the woman tempest-tossed and tried
By household cares, and hosts of things beside,
With all my strength God bids me say to you:
"Dear soul, do try the daily Interview!"