Enjoying the Journey

I love books.  Not long ago I was rummaging through my study, searching for a book that I knew was there…

Instead, I found one that I didn’t know I had.  It was a volume published in 1958 of one hundred and one famous poems.  Poetry has always intrigued me.  Frost’s The Road Not Taken and Kipling’s If are two of my favorites.  I do not claim to be a poet, or even to know much about rhyme and meter.  I do know when a poem speaks to something in my own heart.

Such was the case as I flipped through the new found treasure in my library.  The words on the bottom of page 37 were for me.  Ours are challenging days.  The pen of Maltbie Babcock speaks to the great need of our times.

     Be strong!

We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;

We have hard work to do, and loads to lift;

Shun not the struggle – face it; ’tis God’s gift.

     Be strong!

Say not, “The days are evil.  Who’s to blame?”

And fold the hands and acquiesce – oh shame!

Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God’s name.

     Be strong!

It matters not how deep intrenched the wrong,

How hard the battle goes, the day how long;

Faint not – fight on!  To-morrow comes the song. 

It has been years since I really worked at memorizing a poem but I am working on this one.  You may want to join me!  The message is powerful – worthy of being lived, not just memorized.

The truth does not originate with Babcock.  Its origins are in words far more inspired: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).

Whatever you are dealing with today, take these words as your own: “Be strong!”

1 Comment

  1. Donna Gleaves on December 2, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    As a college student in the 1960s, I heard this poem set to music, but I don’t remember the name of the composer. THE VERSES ALWAYS IMPRESSED ME.

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