Burning Brightly in Core of Heart
By Richard Mabey Jr.
I had today off from work. I reviewed some of my notes that I had written, over the years, from some of my favorite philosophical thinkers and writers. This included: Claude Bristol who wrote the book, The Magic of Believing; Norman Vincent Peale who wrote the book, The Power of Positive Thinking; B. J. Palmer, the famous chiropractor who founded the Palmer College of Chiropractic and wrote dozens of books focusing on the relationship of the role of the spinal nerves in maintaining good health; Billy Graham; Joel Osteen; Jesus of Nazareth and several others.
I know that many of my readers strictly adhere to scientific principles and tend to dismiss the more spiritual perspectives of life. My purpose is not to disagree or argue with people. My purpose in life is to find my own truth, that which speaks to my heart as golden truth. Respectfully, on the matter of the spiritual side of life, we can agree to disagree.
Today, I worked on the chapters of my book, I Remember Dad, that centered upon my beloved father’s dedicated service to the scouting movement. It is a challenge that I take very serious. There are times when I feel inadequate, in my attempts to conquer this challenge. To me it is as much a challenge as landing the great white whale. I’m very serious about that. The question that burns in my heart is this: will I be successful in capturing the spirit, the essence, the heart of my dad’s dedication to scouting? Dad had a very firm belief that it is better to shape a boy to become a moral gentleman than to rehabilitate a wayward man.
Today I went through old newspaper articles about my dad that were written by various newspaper reporters reflecting moments in time in his scouting career. I trembled when I reflected upon the sheer volume of newspaper articles that centered upon Boy Scout Troop 170 and the dedicated leaders of this fine scout troop. I remember how honored I was to write the front page story, back in 1987, for The Lincoln Park Journal when my dad received the Scoutmaster of the Year Award from the Morris-Sussex Area Boy Scout Council. That same year, Mr. Jack Floyd Sr. received the coveted Assistant Scoutmaster of the Year Award. Between these two gentlemen, their combined years of service to scouting nearly totaled an entire century.
It is never easy. I know so many people who want to take the easy way out. Greatness doesn’t allow a person to take the easy way out. I’ve dwelt upon this concept a lot today. I honestly question whether or not the story of a hard working man, dedicated to helping boys grow into good men through the scouting movement, is out of style in our modern world.
Book publishers today want the intrigue of a spy novel, the enticement of spicy romance, a tell-all book about a famous person, or a book that blasts conservative Americans who still find value in the charm of Mayberry and still appreciate Norman Rockwell’s paintings. Believe me, this is the truth. I know it first hand.
In so very many ways, I see my book, I Remember Dad, as my ministry. I’ve allowed myself to become distracted with playing golf, taking my job just a bit too serious, giving talks to seniors on the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, and this one I know is going to be controversial…even church activities have distracted me from my true ministry, that of focusing on seeing my book become published.
I was wondering today if Thomas Wolfe ever had these moments of self doubts. I wondered if Ernest Hemingway felt as though he was climbing straight up a jagged cliff. And, I wondered if Earl Hamner Jr. ever questioned his talent as a writer. For today, this very day, I honestly questioned my talent as a writer. I honestly asked myself if I Remember Dad was really worthy of publication.
To all of you who may have reached a stumbling block in a life goal, please do remember this: the time may have come to remove the distractions in life. The time may have come to focus with fury and face your goal with the courage of a lion. The time may have come to keep climbing up the jagged cliff and never, never, never look down.
Peace and harmony,