Rural Missouri Magazine

A wonderful beginning

Frank Stork
by Frank Stork

The Governor’s Prayer Breakfast is held in Jefferson City the opening week of the legislative session. The event brings together state officials and employees, religious leaders, youth groups and good people from all walks of life.

It is a time when our governor and others in state government seek spiritual guidance as they resolve to work together for the common good. The prayers, scripture readings and inspirational talks move individuals to work in harmony for the good of all.

After a welcome from Gov. Holden, Jean Carnahan, our former first lady and U.S. Senator, presented the main address. She offered what she described as ancient gems of “take home wisdom.”

The first is derived from Tikkun Olam the Hebrew word for truth. It means “repairing the world” by leaving it a better place than when we entered. The broader meaning includes repairing relationships within our home, our workplace and with others around the globe.

The second bit of wisdom to “press on” came from Harriet Tubman, the former slave woman who gained freedom in Canada and risked her life many times to lead others to freedom. Harriet had a strict rule for those who accepted her help. That being, once beginning their long and dangerous journey, they could not turn back. No matter how difficult the trip, they understood they would need to “press on.”

The third gem was related through the story of a grieving mother who had lost her young son. She asked Mother Teresa for wisdom to lift her from hopelessness and despair. Mother Teresa said to her: “You will find my message of wisdom in your own hand.” Pointing to each finger separately she said: “God — is — with — you — always.” The presence of God in our lives makes all things possible and all things bearable. We are not alone,” said Carnahan.

After presenting her inspirational address, Carnahan closed with the following poem:

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends . . . and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
Honesty and forgiveness makes you seem weak.
Be honest and forgiving anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for some underdogs anyway.
What you spent years building may be torn down overnight.
Build anyway.
Give the world the best you have and few may ever notice.
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

The prayer breakfast was a wonderful beginning to what is shaping up to be a difficult and demanding year for our state officials and employees. We can only hope that the spirit of the prayer breakfast will be enduring for all of us.

Stork was executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives and a member of Three Rivers Electric Co-op.


Rural Missouri | June 2020 Issue

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