One Solitary Life

My family enjoyed the annual Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular show this week for the third year in a row – this time in Boston.
They always end the show with a live nativity scene and a slightly modified version of the attached story, which I thought was worth sharing in its modified form as we approach Christmas Day:

Nearly two thousand years ago in an obscure village, a child was born of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village where He worked as a carpenter until he was thirty. Then for three years He became an itinerant preacher.
This Man never went to college or seminary. He never wrote a book. He never held a public office. He never had a family nor owned a home. He never put His foot inside a big city nor traveled even 200 miles from His birthplace. And though he never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness, throngs of people followed Him. He had no credentials but Himself.
While He was still young, the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His followers ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was sentenced to death on a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth–the simple coat He had worn. His body was laid in a borrowed grave provided by a compassionate friend…
Nineteen centuries have come and gone and today…Jesus is the central figure of the human race. On our calendars His birth divides history in two eras…
This one Man’s life has furnished the theme for more songs, books, poems and paintings than any other person or event in history. Thousands of colleges, hospitals, orphanages and other institutions have been founded in honor of [Him]…
All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the governments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned have not changed the course of history as much as this One Solitary Life.

Whether we believe in Him or not, it is worth reflecting during this holiday season on how it is possible to bring about positive change in our world without achieving success by conventional definitions.
Reflecting on that brought me back to two of my favorite quotes.
The first is from Henry David Thoreau, who said:

If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music in which he hears, however measured, or far away.

The second is from Micah 6:8 in the Old Testament, which says:

He has shown thee, O man, what is good, and what the Lord doeth require of thee, but to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.

Happy holidays to you and yours.

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