Now and then, because you may have guessed that I am a great trivia lover, I like to take a look and see what happened on a particular day in history. Today, November 14, is not one of those gilded, super special days in our world’s life. For instance:
In 1732, the first professional librarian was hired in Philadelphia.
In 1927, the world’s largest gas tank blew up in Pittsburgh, killing 28.
In 1915, Tomas Masaryk demanded independence for Czechoslovakia.
In 1675, Pope Clement X declared the Gorcumse martyrs divine. There were 19 clergy that were hanged by Dutch Calvinists. Probably not good press for the church.
There were some interesting things that happened, however:
1851 – Moby Dick was published.
1883 – Treasure Island was published.
1865 – Gail Borden patented condensed milk.
1889 – Nellie Bly began her trip around the world in 80 days.
1960 – “Georgia on My Mind” hits #1.
1968 – (only 52 years ago!) Yale turns co-ed.
1970 – Marshall football team is killed in plane crash. 75 died. If you want to see a great movie, and you haven’t watched it yet, Matthew McConaughey plays the replacement coach in “Marshall.” Pop some popcorn.
1972 – (48 years ago!) The Dow Jones finally tops 1,000 points. Yesterday it closed at 29,479.
Now, probably none of these events matter, unless you are planning to make a pumpkin pie next week for Thanksgiving, and you are using condensed milk in the recipe, but some, if not most, are a bit interesting. What I find fascinating is to read of an event in our world, and I had never heard about it before. I’m sure Tomas’ family was very proud of him, as he was also elected first president of Czechoslovakia three years later to the day. I did not know that the original team name for USC was “The Methodists,” as they played their first football game in 1888 at that school. Apparently, USC, a private school, was affiliated with the Methodist Church until 1952. Also apparently, no one in the entire USC administration liked the team name “Methodists” – so when, in 1912, a sportscaster compared the team to the Trojan Army, it was quickly replaced with the Trojan mascot. I suppose it would have been hard to play football in British academic robes, anyway.
So the question we are left with, as visions of trivia dance in our heads on this rather insignificant day of our year: what will you and I do to make this a significant day in history? It may be a bit of a stretch to make it a world historical event kind of day, but we certainly can use our imagination, our energy and our love to make it a day worth remembering for our family, or our friends. I have no idea what that might be. All I can do is to encourage, and claim the truth that it is possible to make a difference, to make a moment, or to make something memorable for those we love.
How powerfully important it would be to have someone – or even just our own selves, come to the end of this day in November, and to state out loud, “Wow – I’m certainly going to remember this day. Of all the days in quarantine, and dealing with political and social and medical stuff – today has been different, and it’s because I chose to make it so.” Joy is living a significant life, and significance comes not in odd happenings, or only tragedies. Significance comes in working to create a time to remember, where who I am as a child of God and a member of this world calls me to live large, to overcome the mundane, and to provide an anchor point for these days. It’s doesn’t have to be like any other. It truly can be one for the history books – at least your history, and at least your life. Take a chance, and take a dare – do something today that you will remember.
Word for the day: saginate. Pronounced SAG-uh-nate. The word is little changed from the original Latin saginare, meaning “to fatten, especially livestock.” The noun is sagina, which is translated “stuffing.” So, a week from Thursday, I’ll get up early to saginate the turkey, roast it for 3-4 hours, and then allow it to saginate us! Not that we are livestock, however… It’s probably not a nice thing to say to someone, “Wow – you look totally saginated today!”
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.