In his book Facing Loneliness, J. Oswald Sanders writes, "The round of pleasure or
the amassing of wealth are but vain attempts to escape from the persistent ache...The
millionaire is usually a lonely man and the comedian is often more unhappy than his
Sanders goes on to emphasize that being successful often fails to produce satisfaction.
Then he refers to Henry Martyn, a distinguished scholar, as an example. Martyn, a
Cambridge University student, was honored at only 20 years of age for his achievements in
mathematics. In fact, he was given the highest recognition possible in that field. And yet
he felt an emptiness inside. He said that instead of finding fulfillment in his
achievements, he had "only grasped a shadow." After evaluating his life's goals,
Martyn sailed to India as a missionary at the age of 24. When he arrived, he prayed,
"Lord, let me burn out for You." In the next 7 years that preceded his death, he
translated the New Testament into three difficult Eastern languages. These notable
achievements were certainly not passing "shadows."
Our Daily Bread, January 21, 1994.