But to Do Right

“There is always some peace in having submitted to the right. Don’t spoil it by worrying about the results, if you can help it. It is not your business to succeed (no one can be sure of that) but to do right: when you have done so, the rest lies with God. . .”

CS Lewis

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The Good is Always Coming

Yet I know that good is coming to me – the good is always coming; though few have at all times the simplicity and the courage to believe it. What we call evil, is the only and best shape, which, for the person and his condition at the time, could be assumed by the best good. And so, farewell.

—George MacDonald

Lose not Wonder

“LIFE is not void or stuff for scorners:

We have laughed loud and kept our love,

We have heard singers in tavern corners

And not forgotten the birds above:

We have known smiters and sons of thunder

And not unworthily walked with them,

We have grown wiser and lost not wonder;

And we have seen Jerusalem.”

~G.K. Chesterton: Collected in ‘The Ballad of St. Barbara and Other Verses.’ (1922)

The Elixir

Teach me, my God and King,

In all things Thee to see,

And what I do in anything

To do it as for Thee.

Not rudely, as a beast,

To run into an action;

But still to make Thee prepossest,

And give it his perfection.

A man that looks on glass,

On it may stay his eye;

Or if he pleaseth, through it pass,

And then the heav’n espy.

All may of Thee partake:

Nothing can be so mean,

Which with his tincture—”for Thy sake”—

Will not grow bright and clean.

A servant with this clause

Makes drudgery divine:

Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws,

Makes that and th’ action fine.

This is the famous stone

That turneth all to gold;

For that which God doth touch and own

Cannot for less be told.

BY GEORGE HERBERT

Never Mind Time

“I am reminded that this is the last Sunday of the year. They go very fast the years, as we get older. You young people, you do not know how short the years will get by and by; with so much that you want to do, that it seems almost hopeless ever to do it, while time goes on, and on, as we ourselves go on at an increasing ratio of speed. Never mind time; fear not old age. Fear nothing but to be beaten by your work. Do not be put out by any hands. ‘He that believeth shall not make haste.’ Work on, earnestly, diligently, calmly, whatever your work be, if honest; and if not honest, give it up–that is not God’s work.” George MacDonald, sermon report, reprinted in ‘Wingfold’ Spring 2008.

Into The Childhood

The winter is the childhood of the year. Into this childhood of the year came the child Jesus; and into this childhood of the year must we all descend. It is as if God spoke to each of us according to our need. My son, my daughter, you are growing old and cunning; you must grow a child again, with my son, this blessed birth-time. You are growing old and careful; you must become a child. You are growing old and distrustful; you must become a child. You are growing old and petty, and weak and foolish; you must become a child — my child, like the baby there, that strong sunrise of faith and hope and love, lying in his mother’s arms in the stable.

George MacDonald

Thou Knowest All

THOU art of this world, Christ. Thou know’st it all;
Thou know’st our evens, our morns, our red and gray;
How moons, and hearts, and seasons rise and fall;
How we grow weary plodding on the way;
Of future joy how present pain bereaves,
Rounding us with a dark of mere decay,
Tossed with a drift Of summer-fallen leaves.

Thou knowest all our weeping, fainting, striving;
Thou know’st how very hard it is to be;
How hard to rouse faint will not yet reviving;
To do the pure thing, trusting all to thee;
To hold thou art there, for all no face we see;
How hard to think, through cold and dark and dearth,
That thou art nearer now than when eye-seen on earth.

Have pity on us for the look of things,
When blank denial stares us in the face.
Although the serpent mask have lied before,
It fascinates the bird that darkling sings,
And numbs the little prayer-bird’s beating wings.
For how believe thee somewhere in blank space,
If through the darkness come no knocking to our door?

If we might sit until the darkness go,
Possess our souls in patience perhaps we might;
But there is always something to be done,
And no heart left to do it. To and fro
The dull thought surges, as the driven waves fight
In gulfy channels. Oh! victorious one,
Give strength to rise, go out, and meet thee in the night.

Wake, thou that sleepest; rise up from the dead,
And Christ will give thee light.” I do not know
What sleep is, what is death, or what is light;
But I am waked enough to feel a woe,
To rise and leave death. Stumbling through the night,
To my dim lattice, O calling Christ! I go,
And out into the dark look for thy star-crowned head.

– George MacDonald.

“A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul.”

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