I finally finished John Wesley’s journal on my Kindle. It took me awhile. I’m in a stage where I don’t want to “abandon” books, so I waded through. I’m glad I did. I wouldn’t recommend it as a light and airy read – it took me awhile to get used to the archaic language.
I cracked up at one Goodreads user’s one-star review: “John Wesley goes about on a horse.” Hah! I guess that’s one way to boil it down into a sentence. Wesley certainly put some miles behind him as he traveled. He also went through some pretty insane life experiences: people wreaking havoc/causing insane distractions/hurling him with rocks as he preached… storms at sea… his rocky friendship with George Whitefield… “losing” his first love… finally marrying a not-very-nice lady (although he never degraded her in his journal)… falling off horses… dealing with all kinds of weather issues on his journeys…
I teared up as his journal entries reached the end and his body started to fade. What an amazingly full life Wesley lived – spent for the Lord. His desire was to see Methodist “societies” established around the country. He felt it important for the Word to really take root in people’s lives. I’d be interested to read a biography soon.
Some favorite quotes (more like giant passages this time) from my March readings below!
I preached on “God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5:11). I believe God applied it to many hearts. Were it only for this hour, I am glad I came to Holland. ¹
(Reflecting on his 81st year of life) We can only say “The Lord reigneth!” While we live, let us live to Him! ¹
Even now, though I find pain daily in my eye, or temple, or arm; yet it is never violent and seldom lasts many minutes at a time. Whether or not this is sent to give me warning that I am shortly to quit this tabernacle, I do not know; but be it one way or the other, I have only to say,
My remnant of days
I spend to His praise
Who died the whole world to redeem;
Be they many or few,
My days are His due
And they are all devoted to Him! ¹
I stood at the window of my room… waiting for Big Ben to tell that the War was over. My mind strayed back across the scarring years to the scene and emotions of the night at the Admirality when I listened to these same chimes in order to give the signal of war against Germany to our Fleets…. And now all was over! The unarmed and untrained island nation… had faced unquestioningly the strongest manifestation of military power in human record, had completed its task…. ²
Why is war to have all the splendours, all the nobleness, all the courage and loyalty? Why should peace have nothing but the squabbles and the selfishness and the pettiness of daily life? Why if men and women, all classes, all parties, are able to work together for five years like a mighty machine to produce destruction, can they not work together for another five years to produce abundance? ²
And this is progress, this is liberty. This is Utopia! What a monstrous absurdity and perversion of the truth it is to represent the communistic theory as a form of progress, when, at every step and at every stage, it is simply marching back into the dark ages. ²
You’ve got to think about the “big things” while you’re doing the small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction. – Alvin Toffler ³
Another thing an intentional person has to learn is how to say no. For me, that has been really difficult. I never met an opportunity I didn’t like, so my natural desire is to say yes to everything. And you can’t accomplish much without focus. ³
Specialize in your specialty. When you have a solid understanding of your strengths, you will be able to focus. Your goal should be to spend 80 percent of your time and effort on what brings high return to you and your team. ³
¹ The Journal of John Wesley
² Churchill: The Power of Words, edited by Martin Gilbert
³ The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player, John Maxwell