Adapted from Max Ehrmann’s poem “Desiderata” (Desired Things) written in 1927
I will go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender I will be on good terms with all persons.
I will speak Your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
I will avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
I will not compare myself with others, lest I become vain and bitter; for there will always be greater and lesser persons than me.
I will enjoy my achievements as well as my plans. I will keep interested in my own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
I will exercise caution in my business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But I will not be blinded to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
I will be myself. Especially, I will not feign affection, nor be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
I will take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
I will nurture strength of spirit to shield me in sudden misfortune. But I will not distress myself with dark imaginings. I know that many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
I will hold a wholesome discipline, and be gentle with myself.
I am a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; I have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to me, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore I will be at peace with God, and whatever my labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life I will keep peace within my soul, With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. I will be cheerful. I will strive to be happy.
This is the article I wrote for the Merredin Mercury dated 8 April 2010
I was in Perth at the end of February for the Mighty Men’s Conference with Angus Buchan. There were so many men from the Wheatbelt amongst the crowd of 2500 men that I could have been at a clearance sale. Next month 400,000 men will gather on Angus Buchan’s farm near Greytown in South Africa to hear the same message which we heard in Perth.
What is it that is drawing men together at this time all around the world through Promisekeepers, Million Man March, Mighty Men and Secret Men’s Business?
Some have said that it is a revolt against the feminist movement but I suspect that it is more than that. The nature of the male species is that of a warrior – he leads the way, he protects and he provides. He must be strong. But, in our society today he undertakes this role with fear and trepidation. He is alone, at the mercy of the elements, big business and politicians. His job is not secure because he has no control over it. The success stories are no longer about pioneers but about men in three piece suits with questionable morals. A man, a real man, doesn’t fit that image – he sees himself now as sidelined and voiceless, even, sometimes, in his own home.
Julian Krieg of Wheatbelt Men’s Health, offers a word of hope. He is helping men to rediscover themselves without turning them into Neanderthals. He offers a simple solution: Three M’s – a man needs a marriage partner, a mentor, and a mate.
A man needs a marriage partner because he needs intimacy (not just in the bedroom but in all of life). He needs one person with whom he can absolutely share his vulnerability and who will love him despite it all (I hope the wives are reading this bit, because there is nothing more vulnerable than a naked man in front of the mirror).
Second, a man needs a mentor. Someone who can give him value guidelines and principles for living in this difficult world. I am fortunate to have such a person in my father but not every man has had this privilege. Over the years I have become a mentor to many men who had no father to steer them into life, and I am mighty proud of what they have done.
Third, a man needs a mate. A man needs someone who thinks like he does, faces the same fears that he does and who has the same hopes that he does. He will not find this in his marriage partner, for she must be vulnerable with him; and he does not find this in his mentor, for such a man is to be revered and respected. A man’s mate is the one who stands with him in the struggle, often back to back against the enemy. A man’s mate is a comrade, who in the thick of the battle, will come up for him – they are mutual heroes.
We arrived in Perth on Wednesday afternoon July 22nd at about 1pm. The plane was early but waiting for us were Kobus & Sal from Merredin and Margie’s sister Susan and her son. It was good to touch the ground again and to see familiar faces. We praise God for the way in which He has had this whole adventure planned for us. The processes for immigration just happened, there was never a hitch – except for our own doubt from time to time, I suppose.
It has taken a while to get acclimatized into the new timezone. We had to rush around the first day getting Medicare sorted out, bank accounts finalised and to get new sim cards for our mobiles. The day was long but despite that we still woke up at 6am South African time ie midnight WA on Friday morning. Steve came to see us on his way to Emmaus and Margie prepared lunch for us all. After lunch we had to rush Susan to the airport to get the flight to Dubai/Morocco.
A couple of things to do on Saturday morning and then watched the Dockers/Eagles Derby. Took a while to begin to figure out how the game is played (still need to talk to someone who knows) but enjoyed it. Figured it was a good game until I read the Sunday Times this morning and read the crits. Seems it was an awful match. Oh well, it was close, exciting and very entertaining. I enjoyed it!
Had thought of driving out to Merredin this morning but our body clocks were still not right so we ended up at the South Mandurah Uniting Church. Lots of familiar faces and a good message from Ian Pearce. I loved the worship – Luke Williams leads with some pretty up to date music. He is brilliant, I just love the way he draws us into the Presence of the Lord so that our singing becomes a whispered love song right into the heart of God. Last time we were here he preached as well – a stirring sermon on the plans which God has for His church. He closed that sermon with a stirring rendition of “Be still my soul” which had the whole congregation in tears. I’ll never forget it – The Lord has major plans for this man.
Today was a quiet day – watched “A night with the king”, Tommy Tenney’s story about Esther. Amazing story, isn’t it? It made me think about how often we want to do things for God and actually forget to find out if He actually wants us to do them before we plunge in to it. God is sovereign, He has absolutely everything under control – He doesn’t need us but He welcomes our willing hearts. And when we have gone off on a tangent, He doesn’t just write us off – He simply uses the tangent to achieve what He wants from a different angle. I am constantly amazed at His patience with me.
Now that we have arrived in Australia, I think that I am going to change the approach to this blog, so don’t be surprised if you come here one day to find it totally different.
We are planning to come out to Merredin on Thursday, once we have figured out some transport for ourselves. We have Susan’s car at the moment but Margie will have to come back to Mandurah to look after the cat and the house while Susan is away. She will come up to Merredin for the weekends.