It is late in the afternoon, or bedtime has come and there is a deep sense of frustration as we look back on the day.

Everything has gone wrong, even things which often have been easy have been hard, while unexpected problems have brought with them a sense of aggravation and futility.

A harsh word has led to unpleasantness, even with a dear one. The people with whom we work have seemed unusually irritating and the daily task has been a burden, not a pleasure.

The news has been bad and the outlook for the future seems unusually foreboding. Some incidents of the day have struck home with unusual force and one approaches the remaining hours with a deep feeling of dissatisfaction.

That this is a picture of the cultured pagans around us is often obvious. But why did this happen to me, a Christian? We know that it is far more than the trite saying that we “got out of the wrong side of bed.” Nor can we blame it on a feline of midnight hue which crossed our path on the way to work; or the ladder we walked under. We may have spilled the salt at breakfast, or passed a funeral procession, or been the victims of any one of a thousand other silly superstitions.

Down in our hearts we know there is something wrong inside, something we have missed, some turn we have taken to the left when we should have gone to the right, some intervention of the vagaries and perversities of human nature of which we have been the victim.

What has happened? What is wrong? Remember, we are speaking to Christians not to pagans, to people who should know better but who so often live as beggars when they should live as kings.

The trouble is that no proper foundation has been laid for the day, no turning to the Fountain of Life, no drinking from the wellsprings of eternity, ...

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