Sunday, January 4, 2015

Old Quotes for a New Year

Stumbled across a few good quotes, the kind that help bring perspective in a sentence or two.

"In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him." Ralph Waldo Emerson

This pre-dates a piece of advice I've heard that Newt Gingrich gives about his approach to cocktail party conversation, and captures a notion that has gotten my introvert-ish self through 10 schools growing up, through 24 moves, and through numerous parties and meet-and-greets.

In social situations, you can retire from people and shrink away, you can buck up and suffer through, or you can enter conversation with a goal of figuring out what a person has to teach or share with you. People are brilliant--even (especially?) the boring- or different-seeming ones. Everyone has a speciality or experience to tell. Trying to figure it out acknowledges the image-bearer in each one of us and has a side benefit of making things more interesting for everyone. You can view casual conversation as a treasure hunt or a torture chamber. Humility helps you do the former.

"You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times that the beginner has even tried." Unknown [anyone?]

Echoes of T. Roosevelt's "person in the arena" quote. In our hyper-critical, hypocritical, knee jerk, tabloidesque, lack-of-context culture, you can plunge in a do-fail-learn-succeed approach -- and a try-sin-repent-grow spirituality -- or you can shrink back. Courage helps you do the former.

"What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and work flow." Martin Luther 

Good news for everyday people who are busy doing regular work for God and other people.

The guy administering vaccinations in Appalachia and the guy manufacturing the plastic for the syringes are both doing God's work, if they do it for him. Faithfulness in small, everyday things.

"In raising children, I have lost my mind but found my soul." Lisa Shepherd

The secular, and humorous, version of "Yet she will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith and love and holiness." (1 Timothy 2:15) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

No comments: