Many are familiar with the writings of R. A. Torrey, and though he died in 1928, his work is still relevant for us today. We tend to place men like Torrey upon a pedestal and they somehow seem far removed from us regular folk.
I wanted to share the following excerpt from Torrey’s testimony in hope that, in his own words, “many will recognize it as a description of the main features of their own condition.”
“But peace of mind and rest of conscience are not to be found in what the world calls ‘easy circumstances.’ Notwithstanding that I had apparently every reason to be well satisfied with my lot, and every opportunity to enjoy the good things of this world, my mental condition was anything but satisfactory. It is hard to picture the state of a mind subject to increasingly frequent and protracted spells of depression, for which there seemed to be no reason or explanation. Certainly I was thoroughly discontented, desperately unhappy, and becoming more and more an easy prey to gloomy thoughts and vague, indefinable apprehensions. No longer could I find mental satisfaction and diversion in the places and things which once supplied them. My gratifications had been largely of an intellectual order, and my mind had been much occupied in efforts to pierce the veil of the material universe, and to discover what, if anything, lay concealed behind it. This quest had carried me into the domains of science, philosophy, occultism, theosophy, etc., etc. All this pursuit had yielded nothing more reliable than conjecture, and had left the inquirer after the truth wearied, baffled and intellectually starved. Life had no meaning, advantage, purpose or justification; and the powers of the much-vaunted human intellect seemed unequal to the solution of the simplest mysteries. The prospect before me was unspeakably dark and forbidding.” (R. A. Torrey)
Like Torrey, we all suffer a similar malady; whether we are rich, poor, small or great, we have one thing in common: we’re looking for something, someone, anything that will fulfill and give life.