bits from bob....

If I Quit for Six Months

by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Last year during a trip to California, Jan and I toured the Hearst Castle. The mansion of William Randolph Hearst sits on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean near San Simeon, about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Fashioned after the European castles which enchanted Hearst, Hearst named the estate La Cuesta Encantada, the Enchanted Hill.

Hearst was an American newspaper publisher who entered publishing in 1887 when he acquired the San Francisco Examiner. He eventually built a newspaper chain of nearly 30 papers. Newspapers were delivered by plane to Hearst each day for final approval.

Looking back on this part of American history, Hearst seems almost bigger than life and some of the stories about him are not easily verifiable. An interesting, oft-repeated story concerns Arthur Brisbane, Hearst's close friend who served Hearst as editor of the New York Journal. Brisbane's syndicated editorial column had an estimated daily readership of over 20 million. At Brisbane's death, Hearst said, "I know that Arthur Brisbane was the greatest journalist of his day." The story says that at one point during his career, Brisbane was offered six months of paid vacation by Hearst. Brisbane refused, giving two reasons: if I do not write my column for six months, it might affect the circulation of the newspaper; if I do not write my column for six months, it might not affect the circulation of the newspaper.

Paul wrote to the Galatians that one ought not to think too highly of oneself. Is our perception of ourselves God's perception? Think about your actions and influence as a Christian, what would happen if you stopped doing what you are doing for six months? Would it make any difference? Would anyone notice? Life is lived and measured in the daily moments that God provides, not in the spectacular one-time event. Some go through life seeking one spectacular success that will prove worth and value. Such is futile. This is the day the Lord has made, I will be glad and rejoice in it.

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Last updated February 25, 2015