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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Stop’ as in… it’s great to be able to stop when you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong, and be able to do something else instead.

It’s also really great when some ancient wisdom comes along from a wise sage, a respected elder, a learned teacher with a kind and gentle heart and leaves you wondering how you ever managed to get along without it.

It’s even more remarkable when that wise sage, respected elder, learned teacher with the kind heart steps through the front door into your own living room, changes from a jacket into a cardigan sweater, trades his street shoes for some blue sneakers and welcomes you to a special place called Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood… and then launches into this:

“What do you do with the mad that you feel when you feel so mad you could bite? When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong and nothing you do seems very right? What do you do? Do you punch a bag? Do you pound some clay or some dough? Do you round up friends for a game of tag? Or see how fast you go? It’s great to be able to stop when you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong, and be able to do something else instead and think this song: I can stop when I want to, I can stop when I wish, I can stop, stop, stop any time. And what a good feeling to feel like this and know that the feeling is really mine. Know that there’s something deep inside that helps us become what we can.”

I like how the ancient writer James puts it when he writes these ancient, enduring words: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Human anger does not produce the [justice, peace, well-being, peace, goodness] righteousness that the Divine desires for all people everywhere.”

Quick to listen. Slow to speak. Slow to anger. I like how James says it.

But I really love how Mr. Rogers said it.



Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50works project, where be blogs about a different word each day. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche), or on his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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