Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When do we REALLY live? - Joseph Fort Newton

"I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).

When do we really live? When does life drop its veil and show what it is, what it was meant to be?

* When we have a faith fit to live by, a self fit to live with, a work fit to live for, and someone to love and be loved by.

* When we know how to earn a little and spend a little less, how to pull our own weight and lend a hand to lift the load of others.

* When we know how to fill time and not merely kill it, when we want less, love more, and add something to the sum of human good.

* When we are wise enough to live one day at a time, letting yesterday go and not living tomorrow until it arrives.

* When we can look out over the far horizon with a deep sense of our own littleness, and yet have faith, hope, and courage.

* When we know that every man is noble, as vile, as divine, and as lonely as we are, and learn to forgive and love our fellows.

* When we know that every day is a little life, every night a little death and that we pass this way but once in our journey.

* When we can sympathize with our fellows in their sorrows even in their sins knowing that each fights a hard fight against heavy odds.

* When we know how to make friends and keep them, despite their faults and ours, and above all how to keep friends with ourselves.

* When we know how to live and let live, how to live and help live, and how to be a little kinder than necessary every day.

* When we have learned a few great books full of beauty serenity, and vision, and treasure them as our guides and companions.

* When we know the one Great Book, how to live with it, letting its strength and tenderness and peace enter into our hearts.

* When we know how to worship, to yield our little fretful selves into the keeping of One who knows the worth and meaning of life.

* When we know how to throw off things, and not let them stick like burs and sting like bees, and how to forget our regrets.

* When we know how to relax, let down, unwind; how to ease the tension of life; how to be alone and not be lonely or afraid.

* When we know how to get out of our little selves into the lives of others, putting ourselves in their place, sharing life in fellowship, changing mirrors into windows.

* When we know that we are tied together in one bundle of life, that the hurt of one is the injury of all, that the common good is the good of every one.

* When the public iniquity is a private bereavement, and we cannot rest until we do our part, cast our vote, to cleanse it away.

* When we know how to make a living, but also how to make a life, giving ourselves to something greater than ourselves, asking no reward.

* When we know how to turn to a man the heart of a man, to a woman the heart of a woman, to a child the heart of a child.

* When we have learned how to walk out on those pesky imps, Fear, Worry, and Boredom, erect, free, unafraid of life or death.

* When we can meet the knocks of life and not be shocked, to suffer defeat and not be defeated, because we refuse to be knocked out.

* When we know how to give ourselves, to forgive others, and to live with thanksgiving, not taking life for granted, but for gratitude.

* When we love the silent beauty of flowers, the songs of birds, the wonder of morning, the mercy of evening and its benediction.

* When music sets us dreaming, when an act of pure goodness melts our hearts, and we feel the thrill of a forgotten joy in the laugh of a little child.

* When we know the fine art of being happy and high minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life, turning our job into a joy.

* When star crowned trees, and the sunlight falling on flowing waters, subdue us like the thought of one much loved and long dead.

* When we can look into a wayside puddle and see something beyond mud, and into the face of a forlorn mortal and see something beyond sin.

* When we can find good in every faith that helps any man to find divine meaning in life, whatever the name or rite of that faith may be.

* When we have learned to praise people for what they can do, and not criticize them for what they cannot do, since no one can do everything.

* When we are ruled by our admirations, not by our disgusts, seeking the best in people, giving every soul the benefit of the doubt.

* When we know how to love, how to pray, how to laugh, how to live with God, how to serve him, glad to live but not afraid to die.

Joseph Fort Newton

No comments:

Post a Comment