December 5, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: The ABC’s of Life

Brother-Aaron-236x300In 2004 a student named Tim Lee gave the Hampton University Commencement Speech. It was a rousing challenge to all those graduating students. And I believe it is a rousing challenge to us as we enter the New Year.

As you read what Tim said, I believe that this may be one of those articles that you tear out of the paper and tuck away in your Bible, stick on the refrigerator door, give to somebody facing the trials of life, or mail to somebody.

So, I say to you today my friends we still face difficult days ahead. We still have work to do, mountains to climb, and obstacles to overcome. We cannot stop striving yet. They won’t get easier, life’s challenges. But they will become more intricate, tricky.

So when life’s complexities confuse us, when the paradoxical ironies of existence surprise us and when we are troubled by the uncontrollable external entities both spiritual and physical, we must remember our abc’s.

No, not the alphabet – English majors of reading and writing. But the abc’s of life. And once we’ve learned them, we should take them with us as we let our lives do the singing.

Take the A-and accept the challenge. The B-and believe in ourselves. The C-convert our thoughts into hopes. The D-the determination to convert our hopes into dreams.

We should E-expect some obstacles on the way up. And F-fight while being faithful and finish the course. We should G-get God on our side. And H-have a Harvey model of leadership. We should I-inspire someone else. And J-take Jesus on our journey.

We should K-keep on keeping on. And L-be a leader. We should M-make every day count. And N-never give up! We must O-overcome our obstacles. And P-put our best foot forward. We must Q-quit quitting. And R-run the race with patience. We must S-strive on while T-trusting in The Lord. We should U-use our talents. And V-value our time. We should W-wait for understanding. And X- x-ray our own lifestyles. We should Y-yearn to achieve all that we seek. And Z-be zealous when reaching the top!

Yes!  We can reach the top! … We must reach the top!  We must understand that there is a plan for our lives, a greater plan and will. And if we ask God, he will reveal it. If we pray to God, he will reveal it. If we wait on God he will deliver it. And if we go with God, we will achieve it. Thank you and congratulations!”

In my soon to be sixty years of life, I have discovered that it is not the values that somebody else imposes upon us or the standards that someone else judges us by, that makes the difference in our lives.

It is the values and standards that we set for ourselves and hold ourselves accountable to that make the difference. This is what Tim Lee was speaking about. The Godly and moral internal values and standards that we set for ourselves and hold ourselves accountable to, serve as the wind in our sails, the rudder of our ship, and our Spiritual GPS as we navigate the Sea of Life.

I love what Tim said.  He said that once we’ve learned these ABC’s, like Accepting the challenge, Believing in ourselves, and Converting our thoughts into hopes, “…We should take them with us as we let our lives do the singing.”

Wow! What a thought! When we’ve learned and incorporated the Spiritual ABC’s into every aspect of our life-journey, we don’t have to sing the ABC Song, as a child would do. Our life will sing it for us!

I close the column today with a bit of useless trivia. Have you ever noticed that the ABC Song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star are the same melody?

As we launch into this New Year, I encourage you to learn your Spiritual ABC’s and let your life sing for you this year.


Brother Aaron   


  1. Galatians 2:22 ” if there were a law ( or anything for that matter) which could produce righteousness then Christ is dead in vain. What a perfect opportunity to preach Christ wasted.

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