A Piece of Work


Every once in a while a piece of literature will leave its mark on its readers. The following was first reported to be found in Old St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore in 1692. In actual fact, the poem was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann. Three years after his death in 1945, his wife gathered up all his works and had them published as The Poems of Max Ehrmann. I gleaned this information from the Internet.

I have had this poem in my possession in poster form for many years and it still gives me pause to think and reflect whenever I read it. Here then is Desiderada, a beautiful piece of work that touches on the very values of life.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant, they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what
virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in face of sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

The Journey to Being a Better Person


Media columnist, John Snobelen spends some of his time every day addressing this constant human challenge, the journey to being a better person, by his own admission. This information was recently sent to me by a friend who likes to share good copy.

The statement intrigues me. How many of us consider this kind of journey on a daily basis and how many even think of it at all?

The Snobelen article was about leadership with grace and I quote: “Some time ago I began to notice there are a few people able to cause change and challenge norms without becoming arrogant. They are those rare leaders who seem capable of valuing people they disagree with, taking responsibility instead of taking bows and making people around them better.”

In what way are we facing our challenge of being a better person? Are we doing all we can to value the people we disagree with or to make people feel better when we know they need uplifting? Are we as helpful as we can be or as thoughtful?

It’s people like John Snobelen who sometimes jolt us awake to the fact that there is always room for improvement.

I have honestly never given any real thought to this aspect of a human challenge and now I can’t wait to begin my new journey to being a better person.

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 NIV

Now how is that for a challenge?

This Moment in Time


Stop! Right now, stop what you are doing and be still if only for just a few seconds…give in to the stillness.

In spite of any chaos around you or in you, give in to being still for this moment in time. Try to make this a habit, and eventually, at any time of the day or night while in the moment, a thought will occur about your life, the world, a problem; anything that has been robbing you of peace and serenity, and the brief respite will infuse you with hope, insight, and a new perspective.

Whenever possible, be silent and listen. Notice how these two words use the exact same letters to fulfill each other…be silent and listen.

In this moment in time hear what God says in Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God.

For now, carry on…the rest of your day is waiting to be lived.

 

 

 

God Has a Sense of Humor


God has a sense of humor…or at least some of his clergy do. We had a guest speaker for our men’s day service yesterday. This pastor also happens to be a wonderful saxophone player who often plays in the contemporary music part of our services. He did not play his sax yesterday but did make reference to human saxuality and sax appeal. You would wonder how that fit into a sermon but it did, much to the congregation’s delight…or at least most of us.

The choir was a special men’s group consisting of twenty-six gents of various ages including three youth, the youngest being twelve, our regular pastor, the guest pastor, and a trumpet player. The music was superb and a solo performed by one of our regular tenors was flawless, moving a couple of our ladies to tears.

Whether or not we believe God has a sense of humor we need only look at Psalm 126:2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy to describe our congregation yesterday.

God obviously has endowed our (dare I say saxy?) guest preacher with the gift of laughter and the ability to share it.