Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Essence of Living for Others

How attuned are you to the idea of thinking of others during this pandemic? The Greek philosopher Aristotle said the essence of life is to serve others and do good. Charles Meigs wrote it down over 100 years ago:

"Lord, help me live from day to day
in such a self-forgetful way
that even when I kneel to pray
my prayer shall be for others

Others, Lord, yes, others
let this my motto be
Help me to live for others
that I may live like Thee"

God wants us to live this way. Caring for others is central in His intentions for us. Concern for others is the defining approach to life if you desire to live God’s way. That idea is reflected in this hymn.

Meigs was a pioneer in the Sunday School movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. He wrote his words in 1902, and allowed it to be set to music in 1916. In telling the story of how it came to pass, he recounted that Gen. William Booth of the Salvation Army wanted to send New Year’s greetings by telegram to Salvation Army posts around the world. Since cablegrams were expensive, Booth condensed his vital message to just one word, 'Others.' Meigs was moved to pen a prayer that could be on the lips of anyone desiring to pursue that way of life.

The only way for us to get through these troubled times is by thinking of others' health and well-being, and of course our own as well. Please wear a mask and try your best to social distance.

"So when my work on earth is done
and my new work in heaven’s begun
I’ll praise You for the crown I’ve won
but praise You more for others"

Click on the video to listen to a recording of this hymn by Bro. Carl Davis, accompanied by my dad on guitar and Margaret Cook on organ. Originally from Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, Bro. Davis was an evangelist, pastor and singer, whose voice was known to thousands through his "Campaigns for Christ" radio broadcasts that aired on several radio and TV stations. Sadly, he was killed in an automobile accident near Nashville on May 2, 1964, not long after this recording was made.

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