Monday, 24 April 2017

Journal: Trying not to look

Many years back there was a fad surrounding a piece of writing which went by the name 'desiderata' a word which translates from the Latin into 'things we need, desire or want' - a poem by Max Erhmann. It even made the record charts in the early seventies and graced my wall (alongside posters of Crick and Watson, William Shockley, Che Guevara and Oppenheimer) too.

It was the 'footprints' of its time and although I never heard anyone say 'Amen' after reading it in church, it influenced many of us during the era of the hippy (love and peace man!). But the words remain and resonate even to this day, even though I let the idiots, the foolish, the incompetent and the downright lazy rob me of them and the words of Jesus, the Christ, in my daily struggles. Tonight's reflections brought Erhmann's words to the front of the mind, so here they are:

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 to 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 as 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 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 labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Lord help me to look the other way and ignore those who would cause me to stumble. 
To pick my battles and to refrain from casting pearls before swine.
To leave the foolish to their folly rather than expend energy trying to polish a turd.
They are yours and, to be honest, you are most welcome to them as they build things of this world and seek applause where they should be seeking and making disciples.

The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.

As for me and my house - we will seek the Lord :-)

No comments: