This I Believe

Day, J. Warren

  • J. Warren Day recounts how looking at ripples in a lake made him realize that all of his actions and life choices have consequences, and describes his belief that a life of service, especially in helping children learn about God, is the most unselfish and Christian life he can imagine.
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. J. Warren Day is a Texas businessman. He is the senior partner in Day, Benson & Covey, certified public accountants, and is the secretary and director of the William N. Edwards & Company, investment security dealers, both located in Fort Worth. In Sulphur Springs, he is a director of the Hopkins County Broadcasting Company. In spite of his many business commitments, he devotes a great deal of time to the Optimist International, a service club dedicated to their motto, "Friend of the Boy." Here now is J. Warren Day.
As a small boy, I was always entranced by the mirroring of God's heaven on a clear pool of water,
and I could lie by the hour on an overhanging bank and gaze into such a pool to catch the reflected glory of the skies. Then to drop a pebble into the pool and study the ever-widening circles from the impulse, in perfectly round geometric figures, on the placid face of the pool, to be followed by another pebble in another spot so that the impulses overlapped the first impulses to make picture patterns in the water by the placement of the stones.
All of this taught me a never-to-be forgotten lesson: A person's life is mirrored in his countenance. I'd get something else from these widening, interesting circles: Everything I do in life, everything I say--yes, everything I think--has some effect on the composite life, which is finally mine, and
definitely, to a greater or lesser degree, has some effect upon the lives of all with whom my life comes in contact. I become what I believe. As I think in my heart, so am I.
I grew a life, however, not by preparing for some great day out in the future when I shall attain success. I grew a life by thinking, saying, and doing today what I hope to become out there in the future.
This I believe: I cannot possibly attain to that fullest measure of my individual capacity unless I believe in, and practice the art of, conversation with my God. In short, praying to Him for an answer, for a solution to my problems. He will give me an answer to every prayer if I have faith. And if my
prayers be right, He will grant my desires.
Of this I am certain: He never expects me to accomplish more than that of which I am capable. If he gives me a load which is more than I feel I can carry, he gives me also the strength and the grace and the courage and the wisdom to carry it. But I must ask him for the ability, and I must have the desire to want to do it.
I know that within each of us is the spark of the infinite, that bit of God which makes us in His image. And so we, therefore, have the power of choice. I can choose to let His plan for my life work out within me, or I ignore His love and yearning for me. But like the steel in the furnace, like the
clay on the wheel, there is an exact timing for my life, and its meshing it with the master plan. If I miss out on the timing, if I spoil the batch for what my life could have been, then He can use me for something else--not quite so fine but still useful in His kingdom.
This I believe: I have made certain choices. Certain doors have been opened to me. Some I have chosen to enter, and having entered, I can never go back. Others I have refused to try, and I shall never know what my life might have been had I entered therein.
Life has been compared by some as a journey to a far country where all are well and happy, where all shall find eternal rest. But this is my belief: In the fatherhood of God, in the brotherhood of man, in
my faith and His plan for my salvation, in His ideal for service, I can find truer happiness. I can attain to all I seek through service to others. I can gain a life by spending it in the service of others. I shall be greater by serving better. I can serve best by living my life for our children.
I believe that we can attain success through the lives of our children. I believe that God, in each new boy or girl who comes into the world, is expressing His forgiveness for our sins and our mistakes, that God is allowing us the privilege of another chance--if not in the life of our own flesh and blood, then most certainly in the lives of every boy or girl whom I can know and help. Such a service is the most unselfish and truly Christian one I can practice: helping a child to grow into the likeness of God.
That was J. Warren Day, a Texas businessman, whose devotion to children is put into practice by his active participation in the Optimist International.