Diligence
Posted on February 22, 2015

There is a verse in the sixth chapter of Proverbs that says: “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.” It is a word about doing the hard work required in order to achieve the results that are desired. Nature is filled with such illustrations. The biblical writer chose hard-working ants who do what is required in summer to prepare what will be needed when winter comes. He just as easily could have chosen an example of worker bees making honey or squirrels gathering nuts for cold weather or any of hundreds of other examples.

Persistence
Posted on February 15, 2015

"This one thing I do," said St. Paul, "I press on toward the goal ….” Sometimes we think that the philosophy of moving forward when we're tempted to retreat (the philosophy of hanging in there when we feel like giving up) is the private property of motivational speakers and writers. But, that is simply not the case. As a matter fact, a spirit of persistence (sometimes even bordering on dogged determination) is a biblical principle. Consider the saga of the Hebrew people inching their way through the long exodus from Egypt to Cana, or later of their ancestors refusing to give up over a span of seventy years when they were held captive in Babylon, or the infant Christian Church enduring sometimes brutal Roman persecution but devoting themselves to surviving until such time as they could emerge victorious.

Armchair Quarterbacks
Posted on February 8, 2015

Armchair quarterbacks have it easy. We don’t take the field, trying to out-think, out-play, and out-maneuver an equally talented team of players and coaches on the other side of the field. Still, sometimes even armchair QBs are smart enough to know a mistake of epic proportions when we see one. All America is talking about that right now, having watched the Seattle Seahawks snatch defeat out of the mouth of victory at the conclusion of this year’s Super Bowl.

Snow Storm
Posted on February 1, 2015

I am not sure when this blog will show up (as I write them in advance of actual publication dates), but it is being written on the morning after the "big blizzard of 2015." And, as you know, it turned out to be neither "big” nor a "blizzard." It was a nice snowstorm – about eight inches in Central Park (and I don't think that much where we live). It's pretty. It's even kind of invigorating. I'm about to put on my coat and boots and go walking in it. Over the past couple days we did what many others in our city did: we stood in long lines at the grocery store buying enough provisions to feed the Fifth Fleet at least through April, buying those slow burning logs that will last three hours in the fireplace, and bracing ourselves for the storm that was to come. And then, the storm that had been predicted... didn’t come at all. The lion we expected turned out to be a lamb. The blizzard turned out to be a pleasant, refreshing mid-winter scene worthy of Currier and Ives. I write all that with compassion and sympathy for our friends in Buffalo and Boston who did not fare so well. But here in the city, that which we feared was in the final tally nothing to be afraid of.