The older you get, the more reflective you become; at least I find this to be true. Questions pop into your mind, like: “What have I really accomplished after all these years?” “Will I be remembered?” “Do people really appreciate everything I have done?” On the other hand, is there enough affirmation/recognition in the world for some of us?
In reading about Dwight Eisenhower, I discovered that he also wanted to get a perspective on himself. This great military general, two-time elected president of the United States carried around a little poem by an author named Saxon White Kessinger, and it goes like this:
Sometime when you’re feeling important;
Sometime when your ego’s in bloom
Sometime when you take it for granted
You’re the best qualified in the room,
Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul;
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop and you’ll find that in no time
It looks quite the same as before.
The moral of this quaint example
Is do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There’s no indispensable man.
No one is indispensable and perhaps we take ourselves too seriously. In the end, Jesus aways recommended humility as a way of looking at your life. When you are humble, you are open to growth, you listen more intently, and you don’t let your ego get in the way of thinking and acting clearly.
In his book “At Ease” Eisenhower writes: “Always try to associate yourself closely and learn as much as you can from those who know more than you, who do better than you, and who see more clearly than you.” I have tried to do that myself because there are many in our church and outside of it who were my teachers and didn’t know it. I am humbly grateful.