Saturday, August 17, 2019

My Task—While It Is Day

“Why,” she asked, “are you so obsessed with politics?”  I’m not obsessed, but I certainly am concerned about our present political situation.  When someone is obsessed, they’ve lost control of their feelings about the subject of their obsession.  The word “obsessed,” however,  is often used to simply mean “very interested.” If that is what my questioner is saying and asking, I answer this way.  I think the most important service which I (any of us) can give to another person is to tell him or her what I am trying to do and why, how I am trying to think and what I think, how I struggle with life’s conundrums, and what I value.  That is why I’m “very interested” in politics—for political decisions and policies have an effect on everything.  So, while it is day, and I have the ability to do, to think, to speak, to write, to experience, and to value—I will do so—not to impose my way on your way—but simply to share my contribution to our common journey.  This is my task.  This is what I am called to do—while it is day.

John Askham’s (1825-1894) poem “Work While it is Day” inspires me:

Work while the day is long,
While the right arm is strong,
While the life-blood is young, Night cometh on.

Work while the sun is high,
In the bright smiling sky;
Swiftly life’s minutes fly: Night cometh on.

Strive with thy heart and soul;
Press to the distant goal;
Waste not the hours that roll: Night cometh on.

Life is a season lent;
Moments are treasures sent;
See that they’re wisely spent:  Night cometh on.

What thy hand finds to do,
That, with thy might, pursue,
With a brave heart and true:  Night cometh on.

What though we toil in pain,
Twill not be all in vain;
Haste then the good to gain:  Night cometh on.

What though grief rack the breast?
Doth there not come a rest?
Let us then do our best:  Night cometh on.

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