Instead of “Old Sayings” I shortened the title. Some of these are well seasoned, but others are relatively new. Shannon Akin, a longtime friend, coined one I often reflect on: “Every day is a holiday and every meal is a banquet.”
Challenges may cause us to question that notion, but viewing life in a positive light reminds me to count my blessings. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Paul said, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” That’s a parallel thought to finding holidays and banquets each day.
Shannon also introduced me to a saying he attributes to Dr. L. C. Cutts, pastor of Vienna First Baptist from 1949-1964. I didn’t know Dr. Cutts, but those who did regarded him highly. He had an interesting description of eternity.
“If a woodpecker took one peck out of Stone Mountain every ten thousand years, when the mountain was completely gone only a second would have elapsed in eternity.” The concept of time boggles my mind. Something without beginning or end is too much to comprehend, but Dr. Cutts’ comment helps put it in perspective.
“Save the meat that hangs closest to the door,” was mentioned in a recent column. Mr. Rufus Collins shared that jewel with me decades ago and I’ve treasured it ever since. With our federal government spending money it doesn’t have, it’s wise to live conservatively. If our economy improves instead of falters, we’ll still be better off.
My mother has often quoted her father saying, “A man’s word is his bond.” That’s been around as far back as I remember, but maybe needs revisiting and emphasizing. Laws are essential, but an honest man keeps his word regardless of technicalities.
“Sleep with dogs and you’ll wake up with fleas.” No offense is intended to friends and loved ones whose precious canines live indoors, take warm baths, and eat at the dinner table. That saying probably goes back to the days when all dogs lived outside, well before poodles and flea collars came along. If you should get fleas from your dog, however, the guilty party can be found with a mirror.
“Don’t ever date a girl you’d be ashamed to marry,” was passed on to me by my father who heard it from his father. He had no pressing reason to share that advice, just relayed it to me early on hoping I’d remember it later. Substitute guy for girl and it’s equally apt for ladies.
John Short Williams, Jr. told me something during my father’s funeral visitation which I continue to appreciate. A lot of people walked through the line, but John is the only one I can still quote. “I know it hurts,” he said, “but can you imagine how bad it would be if it didn’t hurt?”
That was in 2007. I told John afterward how much I valued that comment. He gave credit to Mr. Allen Fulford, who worked with the University of Georgia Extension Service for many years. Mr. Allen had shared that consoling thought with John after his father died.
Ken Randall offered what I consider an excellent approach to prayer. “Prayer can move mountains,” he said, “but God likes for us to bring a shovel.” Too often my pleas are for God to solve a problem rather than use me in the solution, or perhaps even accept the situation. For all sorts of prayers there’s a place and a time, but the answers I seek should be His and not mine.
“Do right,” was a well known saying of Mr. W. F. Stone, Dooly County educator, principal, and school superintendent. He was a fine Christian gentleman of impeccable character. Countless students were advised if they would just do right, the rest would take care of itself. Mr. Stone’s short quote reminds me of Jesus’ teaching style. It’s not complicated.
We’re out of room again, so perhaps we’ll add to the list another time, an opportunity I no longer take for granted. Lately I’ve been thinking more about the hereafter than I used to. I guess that comes with age and the increasing awareness that the years behind me far outnumber those ahead. Maybe that’s why Dr. Cutts’ description of eternity seems more relevant now than when I first heard it.
The concept of time remains a puzzle to me, and I can’t really fathom eternity. But I’m confident in knowing that in the place where I’m going, every day is a holiday and every meal is a banquet.
Love the quotes.
Love the quotes
Very good column today Neil. I fondly remember the folks that you mentioned. Enjoyed the walk down memory lane.
Love this-especially the quote about eternity!