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God Meant it to Be
by W. R. Inge, Dean of St. Paul's 1860-1954

Mental depression is often the aching of an unused faculty. It is a salutary pain, warning us that there is something wrong with our plan of life. If we look on it in this way, it may be a blessing in disguise. You who suffer from it, look on it as a driving force, which may be and should be used to force your life forward. Do not waste it; do not let the millstone grind itself away for want of corn to grind. Do not brood; do not fret; but think the matter out. There is something in me which complains and grumbles: What does it want? It wants to have the joy of creation and achievement: What can I do to satisfy this craving? If you will use your attacks of depression in this way, they will drive you forward in a way which is impossible to do the bovine, contented temperament, which takes life as it comes. The man who is often depressed generally has good stuff in him; but the danger of "acedia" [a compound of depression, sloth and irritability] is very near, and it is not a pleasant vice for ourselves or our neighbours.

Make your depression a stepping stone to a richer joy; that is what God meant it to be; that is why he sent it to you.