In life, religious books can serve as a guide to live. These are old texts, manuals that have stood the test of time. Over the winter, I went to Arizona for Spring Training and attended Sunday service. No, it wasn’t the church of baseball. Rarely, do I take the time to attend on vacation. I’m not sure why. I suppose I figured vacation meant breaking from all walks of life, including the holy trinity and gospel. The definition of a Binge Vacation? Cram as many sights and sounds into a single trip as possible. There never is enough time. Yet, on this trip, I found myself inside a chapel.

I often post full transcripts of speeches. Washington. King. Faulkner. Clinton. Gaiman. These are more for me to read. I post my work here, but it’s also a library or sorts. It even has a card catalog.

These notes (highlights) come from a sermon at a Baptist Church outside of Phoenix, AZ. Most of the reference points (highlights in italics) come from the book of Ecclesiastes.

  • This is the unfortunate fact about everything that happens on earth: the same fate awaits everyone. So, choose life, death is a certainty.
  • Leave your job, house, or project better than you found it. Make it so the next person who comes along stands up and takes notice. Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might, because there is neither work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, the place where you will eventually go.
  • When threatened, don’t blow up or clam up. Listen and reflect. The world isn’t about you. The words of the wise are heard in quiet, more than the shouting of a ruler is heard among fools.
  • Always be a life long learner (This made its way into the Automattic creed). Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. 
  • Ourselves can be our own worst enemies. Our doubt. Our fears. They get in the way of what we truly want to be in life. Instead of putting our hearts and souls out there, we worry about failure. Sometimes, we don’t even try at all, which is a waste.
  • So remember your Creator in the days of your youth – before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them;” before the sun and the light of the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds disappear after the rain. Carpe Diem, Seize the day. Grab it and go. Life is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all.

Some of the world’s best speeches can be found inside a church, loved the subtle nod to Dead Poet’s Society.

Other Notes:

All of the verses come the Net Bible, an open source translation program.

And here is Robin William’s full speech from Dead Poet’s Society:

‘O Captain, my Captain.’ Who knows where that comes from? Anybody? Not a clue? It’s from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in this class, you can either call me Mr. Keating, or if you’re slightly more daring, O Captain, my Captain. Now let me dispel a few rumors so they don’t fester into facts. Yes, I too attended Hell-ton and survived. And no, at that time I was not the mental giant you see before you. I was the intellectual equivalent of a ninety-eight pound weakling. I would go to the beach and people would kick copies of Byron in my face….

‘Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.’ The Latin term for that sentiment is Carpe Diem. Now who knows what that means?…Seize the day. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. Why does the writer use these lines?…Because we are food for worms, lads. Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day gonna stop breathing, turn cold, and die.

Now I would like you to step forward over here and peruse some of the faces from the past. You’ve walked past them many times. I don’t think you’ve really looked at them.

They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you. Their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen. Do you hear it? (whispering in a gruff voice) Carpe. Hear it? (whispering) Carpe. Carpe Diem. Seize the day boys. Make your lives extraordinary.