Written by Walter Lanyon:
YOU sent that letter this morning, didn’t you? You carefully wrote it, addressed and sealed it, and then you dropped it in the box. You didn’t have a string tied to it, did you? No, you just dropped it in the box and went on your way. You didn’t think that the box was especially burglar-proof, did you? And you didn’t wonder how it would get from the box to the post office, and from the post office to the train, did you? You didn’t spend all that morning worrying about whether the train would arrive with it, did you? No, you dropped it light-heartedly into the box and forgot it.
You sent that prayer this morning, didn’t you? You carefully made your declarations for right and offset the wrong thoughts. You addressed your prayer to the All Highest and only ONE. But what did you do after you had sent it? You had a string of worry attached to it, and kept pulling it back to you to see if you could not add another word, or to see if it were really “made.” All morning long you doubted, and the next morning you sent another prayer; but it, too, was attached by a string of doubt and fear and did not get far.
Several days after you sent the letter you received an answer, which read: “I have your letter of such and such a date;” and you recalled that you had written a letter. Still you didn’t rush out of doors and stop every passer-by and say, “I sent a letter and got a reply,” and then elaborated on how you went through the whole affair, how you had hunted for paper and spilled the ink, or lost you pencil, etc. No, you accepted the letter, read it, got the benefit from it and went on you way.
And finally, in a half-hearted way, the poor little prayer which only half loosened, came back to you with a ray of light and you rushed to you nearest neighbor and said: “I had a demonstration – – you see it was this way, etc.”
“O ye of little faith!” Why don’t you cut the strings of worry that are attached to you every thought and “loose it and let it go?” Have the same faith back of your prayer that you have back of the letter and it will return to you with greater certainty and with surer reward.
Away out in the front lines while the battle was raging, a carrier pigeon was let loose with a message, and as he disappeared into the distance, fading away into the limpid blue of the sky, no worried thought hampered his voyage. When they “loosed him and let him go” they knew that he would fly to his destination and results would follow.
Who had not felt the perfect faith of a child in St. Nicholas? They ask for their heart’s desire and are never left without some expression of love. When ye ask, ask as believing ye shall receive. You don’t go into a store and ask the clerk for a certain article and then chase madly about repeating the request a thousand times. You ask and then wait. And so when we learn to ask and wait – – wait with the patience, which is absolute faith – – then we shall constantly receive the reply, the reward that is rightfully ours. “Ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you; seek and ye shall find.” Don’t knock and at the same time try to force an entrance by the window. The master of the house will take you for a robber and only bar his doors heavier.
And so as you send a letter send your prayer – – let them go forth unhampered, untrammeled by fear, worry or care. Don’t stampede your thoughts – – a multitude of assertions accomplish nothing, they only congest you thinking. Speak to your Father in secret, and he will reward thee openly.
-Walter C. Lanyon