It helps our humility to realize that all of us have had to be helped at many points along the way. If our present situation is one that we can be thankful for, we need to understand that we didn’t get there on our own; we had to have help.
Even when we’re doing what is right, we must consider doing it appropriately, and this is especially important in our words. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” And let’s face it: with our words, timing is crucial.
Generally speaking, it is through hardship and heartache that we learn to be wise in our own lives, and that is why we ought not to avoid difficulty. If we despise the means through which wisdom usually comes, we can’t truly say we desire wisdom.
“Gravity” is essential to the good life. If we dispense with all formality and solemnity in our lives, the result is not the carefree enjoyment of constant informality, but the boredom that comes from dumbing everything down to the level of the casual.
To transcend means to “be greater than” or to “go beyond.” A transcendent God, for example, would be more than simply “everything that exists” and more than an abstract “force.” He would be distinct from — and superior to — His entire creation.
If eternity waits for us beyond death’s door, then we need to factor that into our thinking right now. Whatever advantages we may gain for ourselves in time, if we’ve neglected to invest in eternity, we will have missed all that really mattered.
The benefit of travel is that it disorients us and gets us out of our comfort zone. It breaks up the ruts in our thinking, and it does so by surprising us, catching us off-guard, and thrusting us into exploits we’ve never dreamed of.
If we had to choose between an article that was authentic and another that was counterfeit, most of us would choose the genuine article. And so it is with people. We prefer those who are true and trustworthy to those who are fake.
It’s a fact that we live in an age of affluence. But if we don’t properly appreciate the manifold goodnesses that grace our lives, we might as well be poor. Indeed, we are poor, in the very worst sense, if our hearts aren’t storehouses of gratitude.
In trivial matters, no great harm is done if we can’t see the difference between good, better, and best. But in matters of love, justice, and beauty, the ability to perceive what is most excellent is an ability that no honorable person can lack.