Life Is a Child of Immortality

William H. Wood - Bronx, New York
Broadcast during the 1950s

I ask myself, what is required of me that I may get the most out of life? If I seek material gains only, wealth, social position, or political recognition, then oft times I will be disappointed. If, on the other hand, I place my faith in spiritual understanding, not asking for miracles to be performed to justify my faith, then I might find a place in the world where even under the most humble circumstances I can fulfill the mission for which I’m best fit.

I say this after more than eighty years of life, as I view in retrospect the many mistakes I have made and the many blessings I have received. The blessings I have received I know have come to me through my belief in prayer. It is this belief, speaking through the wee small voice of conscience, which has guided me in right thinking. It has done this even when reason deceived me. What pretense have we to deny well-attested spiritual facts because we cannot comprehend them? These facts can only be found in the spiritual realization of God’s creation.

I look upon an unsightly bulb. I plant it and have faith that I will be rewarded, and I am rewarded with a magnificent bloom. What better proof do we need of God’s creation, for He made all that was made and pronounced it good. God did not create evil that all men should suffer. What evil there is in the world is by man’s own doing.

Today the world is in a state of chaos—wars and rumors of wars. It has been thus for past ages. Wherein lies the solution of peace? Can it be found by military forces alone? We must be prepared to defend ourselves against the aggressor, but can it be found in military forces alone? Thus far, it has not proven to be the solution. “Peace, peace when there is no peace,” in the words of the Prophet Jeremiah.

When I was a young man in Boston, some sixty-odd years ago, one often saw on the streets Phillips Brooks, Edward Everett Hale, Minot Savage. They were men looked upon with reverence because they strove to bring all men to the belief in freedom, justice, and a faith in God in order to bring peace into the world.

I am a veteran of the Spanish-American war, and was at the surrender of Santiago. I was left behind when my regimen sailed for home, a victim of yellow fever. There was no adequate medical attention, but I had with me the testament that my mother gave me when I went away. In it, I found comfort and all the help I needed. I know that it was prayer that saved my life. Life is the great adventure, but it is only the beginning. As Goethe put it, “Life is a child of immortality.” This I believe.

William H. Wood was born in Boston in the 1873. When the Spanish-American War broke out, he enlisted in the second Massachusetts regimen, fighting at San Juan and the siege of Santiago de Cuba. During World War I, Wood served with Army intelligence. After the war, he went into investment banking, finally retiring in 1951.