Blog 1297 – 03.29.2019
Trying To Both Stay Timely And Use My Time Wisely
As a young man I remember reading how Kenneth Taylor, author of The Living Bible began his famous transliteration (not a literal translation word for word but a paraphrase of the thoughts) version of the Christian Bible. Mr. Taylor worked in a big city and had a long commute to and from work each week day on public transportation so he had bits of time to and from work that he needed to occupy his mind and his hands (This was before smart phones, even cell phones, or laptops and tablets – back before all our free time and much of our other time was consumed by “staying connected” to what really?) Anyway Kenneth hit upon the idea, having young children, of trying to write a paraphrased version of the Bible in language simple enough for a child to understand. He started with the New Testament letters or epistles which he published as The Living Letters, and then the Gospel of Mark, the shortest simplest one, and many believe the first to be written. He proceeded on till he had completed all sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament in the American Standard Version of the Bible which he used as the basis of his paraphrased version.
The moments were not stollen moments but purposed moments and those often are the most constructive and rewarding moments of our lives. Some people wonder how I could possibly find the time to write a piece for this daily blog every day. But I just make it a part of every day to look for a few moments to focus with my IPad and to try to write something encouraging. I told a friend recently who has been putting off writings some goals and Standard Operating Procedures for work that the biggest problem writing is just sitting down and starting, write anything, begin anywhere and soon you will find the thread of what you really want to say and putting it on screen or paper can be great fun and writing and re-writing it till it is just the way you want it, is a creative process that few others can surpass, in my mind.
Mr. Taylor published the entire Living Bible in 1971 and it was quite popular in the seventies and was promoted by Evangelical Christian groups like Youth for Christ. I remember I bought my mother a nice leather bound copy of the Living New Testament with her name in gold leaf on the front cover but much as she enjoyed it she had a particular problem with Mr. Taylor’s rendering of the King James Version’s description of Jesus’ mother, Mary, being “great with child” paraphrased in the Living Bible, “big in the belly.” Although that is what great with child literally means. My mom’s problem with that reminded me of the grandma in the movie While You Were Sleeping saying that she missed mass not being said in Latin (Even though few if any really knew what the words meant, ha) it just sounded better.
That was a pretty long introduction to my short and simple point that although we cannot make time we can learn to use the time we have been given (all of us twenty-four hours in every day) to accomplish everything we really want to. And it is amazing really all the minutes we have in a day that we take for granted which too often we allow the cares of this life and the deceitful promise of security in the all-consuming pursuit of riches to steal from us. Years ago I heard someone say that a person with average intelligence could easily memorized the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica if they just worked at it a little each day.
In one of my favorite movies, Powder, the young man who is the center of the story has what is called a photographic memory and recalls every word he has ever read. My, wouldn’t that be a nice tool but, then actually we all have every word we have ever read, heard, or said stored in our minds along with everything thing we have ever heard or seen, in stereo and living color, but recalling any of it quickly when we need the information is the problem. Because I have come to believe that we are a part of the Universe and the Universe is a part of us we have access to all we need whenever we need it. We have only to ask and believe the answer will come.
The best use of the time we are allotted and the wisest is to follow our hearts using happiness as a guide. An ole preacher friend of mine used to say, “Stay under the spout where the blessing come out.” In other words if you are not feeling “blessed” or happy, guess who moved. What time is it, it his high time to change just a few thoughts and be happy. No matter what you have done, how far you might seem to have wandered, how messed up your life may seem, we are all of us never more than a thought from being happy, whole, and holy. Just remember Who and Whose you are. Being matters more than anything you or I could every do or say.
Your friend and fellow traveler,