One of the wonderful quotes contained in his book “Self-Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson writes:  “Sorrow looks back.  Worry looks around.  Faith looks up.”

Doing a little research on Emerson, I found this article in the Smithsonian on May 2003, by Frederick Turner in the Arts and Culture Section.   Turner writes:  “A gift seems to have been granted to certain people in the moments in history we call renaissance. One can hear the gift in the voice of that time—a confident exuberance, accepting the tragic aspect of life, but also full of hope and belief.  Emerson is a renaissance voice. At the center of his insights was a vision of nature’s intimate relationship with the human and the divine.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson was interested in Hinduism, but his writings seem to me, universal.  

Regarding sorrow, we cherish memories of those we have lost, so we do look back into the past for those remembrances.  We do not forget, but scripture tells us

“…Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning”  Psalm 30:5b


And about worry: 

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these”  Matthew 6:28b-29


On faith, Emerson writes:  “Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”

As for me, I search and collect scriptural passages that DO feel like the blast of a trumpet.  Thank you, Ralph, for wonderful insights.


Prayer:  You are the architect of all scripture, God.  Thank you for those humans, gifts from you, that inspire us.  Amen

Sue Healy