Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Howard Thurman demonstrates a thoughtful practice worth considering

CONTEMPLATE THE YEAR. I like the way African-American pastor and writer Howard Thurman recollects the year.  The following words of thanksgiving come from For the Inward Journey, a collection of Thurman's writings (Friends United Press, Richmond, Indiana, 1984).  May their simplicity and profundity prompt us to consider such in our own lives.

OTHERS’ LABOR. “I remember with gratitude the fruits of the labors of others, which I have shared as a part of the normal experience of daily living.”

BEAUTIFUL THINGS. “I remember the beautiful things that I have seen heard, and felt--some as a result of definite seeking on my part and many that came unheralded into my path, warming my heart and rejoicing my spirit.”

DISTRESS. “I remember the moments of distress that proved to be groundless and those that taught me profoundly about the evilness of evil and the goodness of good.”

NEW PEOPLE. “I remember the new people I have met, from whom I have caught glimpses of the meaning of my own life and the true character of human dignity.”

DREAMS. “I remember the dreams that haunted me during the year, keeping me ever mindful of goals and hopes which I did not realize but from which I drew inspiration to sustain my life and keep steady my purposes.”

THE SPIRIT OF GOD. “I remember the awareness of the Spirit of God that sought me out in my aloneness and gave to me a sense of assurance that undercut my despair and confirmed my life with new courage and abiding hope.”

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