Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

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Pastor's Piece - Life at its Best

by Dr Barry Wright

I would like to share with you today some thoughts that have been penned by a number of unknown authors who were to express the view that life here on earth can be a better place if God is included in the life.

They suggest that the way we treat our fellow man is often seen as reciprocal to our relationship with God so it becomes important, in their eyes, to begin our day with Him. 

'Good morning God
You are ushering in another day
Untouched and freshly new,
So, here I come to ask you, God,
If you'll renew me, too.
Forgive the many errors
That I made yesterday
And let me try again dear God
To walk closer in Thy way.
But, Father, I am well aware
I can't make it on my own
So take my hand and hold it tight
For I cannot walk alone!'    (Author Unknown)

Life at its best is realised when we learn, as our next author suggests,

'To talk with God before I talk with man. To do my daily work with sunshine in my face. To be strong in the presence of temptation; alert in the presence of opportunity; open-eared to the call of conscience for service or sacrifice; open-minded to views of truth which differ from mine.

To make duty a joy, and joy a duty. To work and not to worry; to be myself and false to no man; diligent, energetic, and not fussy. To be true to make a living, and earnest to make a life. To cherish friendships and guard confidences. To be loyal to principle at the cost of popularity.

To make no promises I cannot keep, and to keep no foolish promises. To be faithful to every honest obligation. To be sweet-tempered under criticism, charitable in my judgement. To honour no one simply because he is rich. To despise no one simply because he is poor.

To be respectful, not cringing to the great, sympathetic to the sorrowing; gentle to the weak; helpful to the fallen; courteous to all. To be simple in my tastes, quiet in my dress, pure in my speech, temperate in my pastimes.

To companion with great books; cherish inspiring thoughts, to keep my body on friendly terms with water and fresh air. To fear nothing but sin; hate nothing but hypocrisy; envy nothing but a clean life; covet nothing but good character.

And at last to leave the world a little better for my stay; to face death without a tremor, with faith in Christ who tunnelled the grave that I might walk into the larger and perfect life at His coming' (Author Unknown).

Life at its best should bring true happiness. However, our next author notes that: 'Being happy can be hard work sometimes. It is like maintaining a nice home - you've got to hang onto the treasures and throw out the rubbish. Being happy requires looking for good things. Some people see the great view, others see the dirty window.

Kazantzakis said, 'You have the brush and colours. You paint paradise and then in you go. Happiness can make or break a day. It doesn't mean laughing and joking around. Rather happiness is an attitude that you can share with others to make their day the best. Students can look to teachers to lift their spirits. A smile can make the difference' (Author unknown).

Our last author suggests that:
'A smile costs nothing but creates much.
It happens in a flash but the memory of it lasts
It can never be borrowed or stolen and is of no earthly good to anyone until it is given away.
So if, in your hurry, you meet someone who is too weary to give you a smile,
Leave one of yours,
For no one needs a smile quite as much
As he who has none to give' (Author Unknown).

Let me leave you with two statements that are worth thinking about.

'The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbour will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways, he will lift some bruised and beaten brother to a higher and more noble life' - Martin Luther King

Finally, to live life at its best, we are reminded again of the apostle Paul's words in Philippians 4: 8 that summarize all of the above thoughts where he says: 'Ywhatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.'

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