The Quality Of A Life (On Being Impressive)

front-stairsI have officially, and unequivocally, decided that I will no longer be impressed by appearance, persona, visibility, apparent impact, charisma or perceived character. I may be drawn to them as anyone, but I choose not to allow them to obscure my vision of what is truly important in this life.

I have decided that before, and today I must decide it again for my own soul’s sake.

It is only the quality of a life that I believe makes a life worth emulating – though I increasingly know less how to measure such an intangible attribute.

In other words, I am no longer impressed primarily by what people do.

I am impressed, however, by the way they do what they do, the motives that seem evident, the quality of their attention to family and their interior life in the process of activity, and a way of being in which the interior life of devotion seems to expand beyond the exterior life of activity.

After being moved by the way someone does something, and the path of living they choose, then I’ll look at the visible expressions that flow from their life. In other words – the roots are now prettier to look at than the flowers and fruit (though both give us indications of the quality of the soul).

It is the voice of a spouse, of children and of very close friends that will sound loudest in my ears, and not the crowds who benefit from their giftedness or skill.

The quality of a life – in all its facets – is what is important in this brief sojourn through time.


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

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