Rachelle and I had the privilege this week of eating supper with Dale and Enid Rust, two wonderful believers and fellow members of Emmanuel, Enid. Dale is a very successful businessman with investments in several states. Rachelle and I enjoyed the fellowship and we both learned a great deal from these two wonderful saints. Their humility, grace and wisdom was refreshing to us. Today, Dale sent me an email which contained another tidbit of wisdom that really spoke to my heart. It is a poem written by Rudyard Kipling (pictured left) entitled "IF."
Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was a British author and poet who was born in Bombay, India. He is the author of The Jungle Book (1894) Kim (1901) and The Man Who Would Be King (1888). His poems, including Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), and If— (1910) are as well known as his books.
Kipling is one of the most popular writers in English history. The author Henry James said of him: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius (as distinct from fine intelligence) that I have ever known." In 1907, Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English language writer to receive the prize, and to date he remains its youngest recipient.
The Poem "IF" is written from the perspective of a father who is giving advice to his son. The poem, printed below, is another evidence that God is able to speak through the arts to His people.
"IF" by Rudyard Kipling
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!