My journal for 2004 records various and sundry inspirations- I was reading and reflecting on several inspirational works by Guideposts Editor Arthur Gordon. This one is especially good, from his book-‘A Touch of Wonder’- when Mr. Gordon says- ‘We must be willing to chop wood instead of sitting by the fire.’

‘The trouble with most of us isn’t active or deliberate wickedness- it’s Lethargy, absence of caring, lack of involvement in life. To keep our bodies comfortable and well fed and entertained seems to be all that matters. But the more successful we are at this, the more entombed the soul becomes in solid immovable flesh. We no longer hear the distant trumpet and go toward it; we listen to the Pipes of Pan and fall asleep. Each of us must be willing to chop wood instead of sitting by the fire. Each of us must guard against the influences that lull and seduce us toward a state of non-living. Each of us must fight his own fight against the betrayal of life that comes from refusing to live it. Each day, for every one of us, some distant trumpet sounds. But never too faint or too far for our answer to be: ‘Wait, I’m coming!’

from ‘A Touch of Wonder’ by Arthur Gordon

One of the great inspirational writers of the 20th century, Arthur Gordon, is best known as the Editor of Guideposts Magazine. He was a native of Savannah Georgia. His great grandfather founded the Central of Georgia Railroad and his famous aunt, Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of America. Arthur was a graduate of Yale, a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford England, an Air Force Intelligence Officer during World War II, he was a writer of many books, had the distinct honor of interviewing Rudyard Kipling and was a charming Southern gentleman who was fond of saying- ‘Watch out for Southern Charm..’ I agree. Two of Arthur Gordon’s books have inspired me for many years- ‘A Touch of Wonder’ and ‘Through Many Windows’.  Mr. Gordon was right about being willing to ‘chop wood instead of sitting by the fire.’

It is easy in Winter to become lethargic, apathetic even lulled to sleep by a warm fire- but we must all be willing to answer Life’s Trumpet Call. Have a wonderful Lord’s Day!

Love y’all, Camellia

arthur-gordon-savannah-now-obit-1912-2002   photograph of Arthur Gorden-

Arthur Gordon’s books are available through all major booksellers including His outstanding obituary is recorded in Savannah Morning News savannahnow

Photographs of ‘chopped wood’ were taken near the Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia- which was used as decorative mulch for shrubs.

7 thoughts on “Be willing to chop wood…

  1. Thank you also for following our blog. We hope you find it continuously useful and enjoyable.

    We returned the favour after reading a few of your great posts. Please keep them up. Your advice in this post to ‘chop wood instead of sitting by the fire’ is so apt for everyone, but particularly writers.

    Thank you,
    The Write Group


  2. We got back home Sunday night after meeting Rebecca for dinner in B’ham before driving the last few miles of our 4931 mile journey! It was great! I’m loading photos to go through and washing clothes and catching up on emails…this one touched a chord (no pun intended!) Thanks for all the wonderful good thoughts you spread… Sally Sally Smith Follow us on Facebook


    Liked by 1 person

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