Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"If" by Rudyard Kipling (Part 5)

I love the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling . . . thirty-two lines of wisdom that provide possibly the best instruction in manliness (why not womanliness, too?) written by a father to his son. The father concludes that if  his son will assimilate this good advice into his conduct, then

"Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!"
Today we're looking at the next two lines, as follows:

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
and treat those two impostors just the same;

Notice Kipling capitalizes Triumph and Disasters. He could have as easily put them in quotation marks. Don't we sometimes maximum our triumphs and disasters? Aren't we often swept away by them? 
We mustn't think too highly of ourselves. Nor should we think too lowly. The best among us falls short of the glory of God. Likewise, we shouldn't think too highly of our triumphs--nor magnify our disasters.

We are here to serve God and bring glory to Him. Therefore, rather than focus on the results of our earthly endeavors, rather than put confidence in the flesh, we should focus on serving Him. We can learn from the Apostle Paul.

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward
in Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 3:13-14
We should simply obey God's call to serve. At the proper time, He will honor us with a "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." And that good word will mean more to us than all the acclaim the world can muster. So when Triumph or Disaster come your way, treat them both the same--forget about them and press on . . . .


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