Sunday, November 25, 2007

Life is but an empty dream

One of my favorite scriptures of late is Psalm 45:1
“My heart is stirred by a noble theme”.

My Godly ambitions are like the tide with ebb and flow. I seem to be in a continual state of need; need of a noble theme to urge me along to fulfill my responsibilities in life. When I was in my twenties someone told me, “Life expects more from us than we are willing to give”. I have found that to be true. I may be more stubborn than the common lot, but I find that if I don’t have a combination of prayer, Bible reading and inspirational thought, whether it is from pulpit or pages, I begin the easy slide backwards. I think Paul mirrors the thought of David in Philippians 4:8 as he sums up how to live at the level we have already attained.”……..Think about such things”. So whether deeply spiritual or highly practical, I seek the noble theme.
With that I’ll pass along these thoughts from a book called “Beaten Paths”…

"You can always forecast the future of a young man by his disposition and ability to overcome circumstances. If he dreads trouble, if he shirks hard work, if he is continually stipulating for the least amount of labor and the greatest amount of remuneration, if he seeks the easiest, softest places in life, and looks for success to “turn up” through some favorable freak of fortune, he is almost sure to be a nobody as long as he lives. But where a young fellow takes hold of his work, resolved not to spare himself, but to win an honorable place against all costs and obstacles, that young man is going up, and no power on earth can keep him down."

These sentiments were put to poem by Longfellow---

“Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
‘Life is but an empty dream!’
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not the goal;
‘Dust thou art, and dust returnest,’
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Finds us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, -- act in the living present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.

Footprints that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate,
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.”
By the way, the pictures are of two warriors, the girl is the church, the other a decorated English officer

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