Devotion in Motion: A word fitly spoken

1 ¶ A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold

       In settings of silver.

Proverbs 25:1 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

Lately, everywhere I look I see evidences of my childhood.  Spencer and Seth rescued a number of treasures from the house I grew up in, and are using them to decorate the places of their abode. I am surrounded by happy memories.

One of my favorite things is the framed picture of the “Desiderata” that used to hang in my grandmother’s  bedroom. “Desiderata” is a Latin word that means “The things to be desired.” It’s a beautiful piece of poetry, and it’s my desire that you become acquainted with it (if you’re not already.) It would be a shame to go through life without ever reading it.

Maybe in the next few weeks I’ll comment on how the content of this poem find their fulfillment in daily life. But today I just want to share it in its entirety. Think about it this week. And strive to be happy.


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious
to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter, for always
there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the  changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment;
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

©1927 Max Ehrmann (renewed) Bell & Son publishing, LLC

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 28 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, and until recently taught Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where tropical storm Karen turned out to be a dud.)  Their kids include Spencer (age 22), his wife Madeline (age 22), and Seth (age 19).