Sunday, July 22, 2007


Government service counter - “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

James Myers in "A Treasury of Military Humor" (The Lincoln-Herndon Press, Inc., 1990), tells an all-too-true story which comes from the American Civil War. General Stonewall Jackson recruited a man named Miles, who had a reputation as a superb bridge builder. Because bridges were needed to be built or rebuilt quickly, Miles became a valuable asset to the army.

One day, retreating Union troops set fire to a bridge and Jackson called upon Miles to get his men ready to prepare a foundation for a new bridge. He told him that the engineers would have plans ready in record time.

The next day, Jackson called for Miles and asked him if the engineers had given him their plans yet. "General," Miles drawled, "we done got the foundation built but I cain't tell ya whether them pictures is done or not."

There is a time for careful planning, it's true. But there is also a time for quick and decisive action. Miles seemed to know that the urgency of the situation required him to just do what needed to be done.

Our greatest obstacle to "doing what needs to be done" is not careful planning. Though many of us have admirable plans and worthy resolutions, we often simply never get around to doing what we have determined to do! We procrastinate. And unfortunately, we often miss an opportunity to do something decisive today, for as Don Marquis has said, "Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday."

Or maybe you have been thinking that you would like to procrastinate less, but just haven't gotten around to it yet. If so, perhaps these words will help:

He was going to be all that a mortal could be...tomorrow.
None should be stronger or braver than he...tomorrow.
A friend who was troubled and weary he knew,
Who'd be glad of a lift and who needed it, too,
On him he would call to see what he could do...tomorrow.
Each morning he'd stack up the letters he'd write...tomorrow.
And he thought of the friends he would fill with
It was too bad indeed; he was busy each day,
And hadn't a minute to stop on his way;
"More time I'll give to others," he'd say..."tomorrow."
The greatest of workers this man would have been...tomorrow.
The world would have known him, had he ever seen...tomorrow.
But the fact is he died, and faded from view,
And all that he left here when living was through
Was a mountain of things he intended to do...tomorrow.

If there is a time and a season for everything, then is today the day to do that thing you have been putting off?

From Lifesupport.

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