Scott's Weekly Greeting ...
This morning I watched a very powerful video of a commencement address speaker. The speaker's name is Rick Rigsby. He is a former professor at Texas A&M University, and he spoke about the wisest person that he ever met. As he stood in front of a gathering of academics and graduates, he said that the wisest person that he ever met was a third grade dropout ... his father. Mister Rigsby worked as a line cook and taught himself how to read and write. He read the classics and quoted Aristotle. He then passed along important life lessons to his children. I will not cite every lesson, but I encourage you to look up the speech and watch it in its entirety. It is engaging, powerful and very moving.
Mister Rigsby warned against the dangers of ego. He said we should all carry a servant's towel and that we should use it often.
He said that it is better to be an hour early than a minute late.
He said that we should never judge.
Some of these sound familiar ...
Mister Rigsby ... the son ... said that his father's final lesson could be summed up in three words: "just keep standing." He said that when we hit rock bottom that is a good spot to build a foundation. No matter how difficult the challenge, no matter how many times you get knocked down ... just keep standing.
In the midst of the speech, Rigsby said that we should always be open to wisdom that comes from surprising places. In his case, it was a third grade dropout. In our cases, it may a chance encounter, it may be someone that challenges our preconceived notions, it may be someone to whom we had never really paid much attention. One never knows.
One of the challenging aspects of that assertion is that we must also be open to the possibility that people with whom we vehemently disagree may offer us profound wisdom. And we have to be open to hearing it. We have to be willing to admit that we are not the smartest person in the room, and that ... yes ... we might even be wrong.
It feels as though we hit rock bottom a couple of weeks ago. The news from every corner was devastating and heartbreaking. Let us pray that we can use that rocky bottom as a firm foundation, and let us all work and stand together to build something beautiful.
On Sunday, we will gather in our virtual sanctuary for worship. This week's message will be based upon some equally challenging words from Jesus Christ. (Matthew 10:24-39) What does he mean when he says that he comes to divide? And what does it mean for us in today's world?
May God bless you all,
Congregational ChurchUCC, SACO MAINE12 BEACH STREET | SACO, ME 04072