My comment: This was sent to my by a friend and fellow christian and watchman. It really caught my attention. Enjoy the article, it’s great insight, and advice. And remember to slow down and see what your missing.
The timing of the first and last steps in the dance of life are preset.
The conduct of its middle should be our best.*
When a student in the dojo during the 70’s, my quest was to master the flowing movements of the katas–the choreographed martial dances. When competing before judges, my sensei advised that the initial and last moves are the most important steps. He believed it would be most likely the judges are frequently bored and are less attentive to the middle steps than they are at the start and end. What if he’s wrong? I asked myself.
Creative writing is like a verbal chorale. Published authors advise neophytes to open dramatically and a similar end. Attention to the plot is frequently interrupted, scenes often disjointed. They thus tend to race through the body and can’t wait to reach the end. When finally done, readers feel empty and wish the story had never stopped.
My dad always admonished me to never criticize a man’s work until he is done. Louis Pasteur remarked that advice from men who do their work well, whether they be laborers or professors, are a our most cherished treasures. I like what those important men said and have refuted what my kata master claimed.
We come. We go. We start. We stop. The time in the middle can be small or large. Beginnings and ends are inevitable. Between Alpha and Omega are 22 additional symbols in the Hellenistic lexicon. In the English alphabet there are only two more ciphers than the Greek. With either we form words. Words are inscribed into sentences, paragraphs, and essays. Essays expand to treatises and finally books. Books are the building blocks of libraries. Libraries become the sources of knowledge and wisdom. What we learn from them is applied to form cohesive communities. Communities grow to villages and towns to cities. Cities generate local governments and burgeon to a nation. The leaders of nations formulate standards of rational behavior for their people. None of these accomplishments could have been achieved until mankind was able to transfer his invisible thoughts to visibility upon stone, clay, parchment, and paper.
That many criticize a novel by its attractive cover or base their judgment upon their scans of its first and last pages. That sort of cursory review frequently banishes the need to read the middle leaves and frequently is a serious mistake. Do they also judge a sandwich by eating only its pasty envelope? Man cannot live on bread alone, for between the slices are the meats and other nutrients awarding good health. If they discard the contents, they will surely suffer. Supping neither chicken nor alphabet soup can absolve them of such insouciance and ignorance.
Empires rise and fall. Republics come and go. Each has great beginnings. Each suffer dismal ends. Can one understand the wonder of the births of Greece and Rome without knowing why they died? Likewise, Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich cannot be comprehended unless it is studied from page one to 1245. Our Republic is an open book, but I fear its middle letters are read by very few. Is this 233 year old tome teetering on Y and about to leap to Z? Is it not ironic that the middle letters beginning with the 2 nd and the penultimate 25th spell a stuttering . . . BY-by?
Than countdown with an atomic clock to oblivion, we should maybe set our course with an alphabetic timer toward transcendence. I am convinced we should study the myriad words built from 24 or 26 humble symbols forming billions of words found in the Holy Bible, the Constitution, and Bill of Rights, et al.
We may never know whether life’s end
Is indifferent to life’s means until life ends.
Unlike human judges, the Forever One is most attentive
To the middle words in the books we write.
*1993, modified 2009
By Albert W. Loescher
Rev. 22:20 'Surely I am coming quickly, Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!'