Archive for April, 2008

Idle Worship

April 30, 2008

In biblical times, people were often warned of the evils and perils of idol worship.  While I think that we have tendencies toward that in today’s world as well, another problem that saps the strength of some of our best people is “idle” worship.  The allure of easy money, or of sitting idle and relying on the productivity of others has enticed many to pursue a course that actually creates more captivity.  Industry, creativity, and good old fashioned hard work are time-tested principles that can breathe the life back into a struggling economy.

 

Make something today!

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Build or Wreck

April 23, 2008

I shared this poem a few years back, but ran across it again this week. I have heard it attributed to Edgar Guest, but most sources I have found list the author as “unknown”. A great perspective as we figure out which side we are on!

Wreckers or Builders

I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a ho-heave-ho and lusty yell,
They swung a beam and a sidewall fell.

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
As the men you’d hire if you had to build?”
He gave me a laugh and said, “No indeed!
Just common labor is all I need.

I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do.”
And I thought to myself as I went my way,
Which of these two roles have I tried to play?

Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?
Am I shaping my deeds by a well-made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?

Finishers Wanted

April 15, 2008

I saw a sign at a construction site this past week that advertised, “Finishers Wanted”.  This reminded me of a talk I heard years ago by Thomas S. Monson about how much this sign is really saying.  On any job or in any story, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end.  It is the ending that gives meaning to the start.  My wife even skips ahead when she is reading a book to see how it will end before she decides to spend the time wading through all of the getting there.  This world is in great need of more finishers.  Your value to other people will include the extent to which you can get it done, not just get it started.

 

Be a finisher.

Deep Waters

April 9, 2008

I read an inspiring message this week about how the shallow waters are compared to living a life focused on yourself – your job, your money, your house, your rights, your needs, your opinions, your ideas, and your comfort.  The deeper waters, in comparison, are about others – family, friends, community, faith, country, and commitment.  “Almost every dimension of your life can be held to the shallows or taken into the deeper water.  Your career, your involvement with others, your spouse and your children, your politics – each can be lived with you comfortably at the center.  Or, they can draw you out of yourself, into service and sacrifice, into selflessness.” – Mitt Romney.

 

I am so impressed with those who are fully immersed in life – doing all they can to add value to the lives of others.  These are the producers who also harvest huge returns for themselves.  Those who merely splash around in the shallows are rewarded only by their own sense of comfort.

 

Enjoy the swim!

The Choice

April 2, 2008

I want to put a warning out there to all of my friends.  The warning has to do with a deception that is creating a lot of havoc in the lives of unsuspecting people everywhere.  This deception is the most prevalent and potentially dangerous of any I know, and a major part of your energy should be dedicated to identifying and combating it – for if you are deceived by it, your life will predictably become miserable as a result.  The deception of which I speak is the belief that you have no choice.  This is the most damaging part of a victim paradigm.  What happens to you or around you in your life is not nearly as important as what happens within you.  You can’t always control what is happening, but you will always retain what Viktor Frankl called “the last of human freedoms” – to choose your attitude in ANY given set of circumstances. 

Choose wisely!

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