Be the Best of Whatever You Are
If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley -- but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a bush, be a bit of the grass,
Some highway happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie, then just be a bass -
But the liveliest bass in the lake!
We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew;
There’s something for all of us here.
There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
And the task we must do is the near.
If you can’t be a highway, then just be a trail;
If you can’t be the sun, be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail -
Be the best of whatever you are!
Now I get me up to work,
I pray the Lord I may not shirk;
And if I die before tonight,
I pray my work will be all right.
No man is born into the world whose work
Is not born with him; there is always work,
And tools to work withal, for those who will;
And blessed are the horny hands of toil!
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
I have only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it,
Forced upon me, can’t refuse it.
Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it,
But it’s up to me to use it.
I must suffer if I lose it,
Give account if I abuse it.
It is only just a minute,
But eternity is in it.
Before God’s footstool to confess
A poor soul knelt and bowed his head.
“I failed,” he wailed. The Master said,
“Thou didst thy best -- that is success.”
The Youth Who Climbs
The youth who burns the midnight light
In study and in prayer,
Will reach in future years a height
With blessings waiting there,
No wealth could never, never, buy,
Nor schemes could ever gain,
For only God can take one high
Beyond all sin and stain.
The youth who walks the upward path
And not the downward road,
And conquers self and carnal wrath
And sin wherever sowed,
Is quite a blessing in his home,
In school, at work, or play,
Or o’er the earth where he may roam,
Or where he’s set to stay.
He’ll bless the country where he lives,
The church where he belongs;
He’ll help God’s cause by what he gives
And help to conquer wrongs;
He’ll share the diamonds of his love
With other precious souls,
And point them to the grand above
Where Christ his treasure holds.
The youth who’s clean in heart and mind
And has a spotless name,
And longs to help his fellows find
God’s way that leads to fame;
Or strives to help them fill the place
That God would have them fill,
Shall be a winner in the race
Up Zion’s holy hill.