Chapter IV

A Far Country and Husks

Shortly after mother’s death I left home, traveling and visiting in the Southland. While visiting a worldly friend in San Antonio, Texas, I threw myself into a vortex of worldliness, trying to fill and satisfy my empty heart with what the crowd called “good times.” While there was nothing immoral in anything we did, yet it was indeed “riotous” living; it was like the prodigal’s going into a “far country,” and it ended like his experience, with husks. In fact, I came at length to a place where such a life no longer interested me. I was satiated. I could truly say in the words of Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s little poem:

I have lost the road to happiness—
Does anyone know it, pray?
I was dwelling there where the morn was fair,
But somehow I wandered away.

I saw rare treasures in scenes of pleasure
And ran to pursue them, when lo,
I had lost the path to happiness,
And knew not whither to go.

The dance bored me; the theatre tired me; I was sick of playing cards with a crowd that chattered about nothings. So with bitterness in my heart toward God, and dissatisfaction with the life I was living, I longed for a change—anything, just so it would bring some satisfaction. I couldn’t live on husks forever. Oh, if I had only realized then that only God can ever satisfy the soul of man; that while the body that is made from this earth can be fed from the earth, the soul, which came straight from the breath of God, only God Himself can satisfy.

This feeling of disgust for my life, culminated one evening in a remarkable decision. It would take a book in itself to tell of the occasion and circumstances which brought about this final decision, but the fact that has to do with this story is that I definitely concluded that instead of throwing my life away as I had been doing, I would give it away. I was sick of such a weary, vain existence; the very monotony of it bored me; the awful emptiness of it nauseated me. So before I ever knew the Christ, the altogether satisfying Savior, I grew tired of an empty life—husks. So instead of throwing my life away, I decided I would give it to some benevolent cause, some philanthropic work; I had heard much of social service work and it appealed to me, (I determined to investigate at once and find just where and how to best train for such service.)