The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

A Time To Pause

Written for the April 1956 issue of The Torch by Lynn Terry
on the occasion of Beta Sigma Phi's 25th anniversary

"This day shall be unto you for a memorial."
 Exodus, 12:14

 Twenty-five is a nice age to be. To those who are younger it represents maturity and especially, perhaps, the freedom to strike out on one's own toward goals unconditioned by the authority or censorship of elders. To those who are older it represents a time of great promise, a fullness of youth, and energy and ambition capable of unlimited accomplishment.

 All of which is true. At 25 the ideals soar to the stars and there is everything at hand with which to achieve those ideals.

 Twenty-five is an age of tremendous opportunity. But at 25 life is crowded with activity, and one is too busy often to recognize the great moment at hand. Something is needed to bring into focus the importance of the time. On this threshold let us pause.

 Let us recognize our opportunity.

 Before the time of Christ a wise Greek told us cities are not made of houses and stone walls, but by men able to use their opportunities. And Shakespeare wrote, "There is a time in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads on to fortune."

 This time and opportunity are ours. And we have made our vows.

 Let us review our vows.

 The Bible says, "Better it is that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay."

 How well have we woven the pattern shown us at the moment of our highest transfiguration? Have we been heroes as well as idealists . . . doers, or merely dreamers? It is said that man's humblest hour is when he compares what he has done with what he meant to do. And a Scottish minister puts it thus: "God knows I am not the thing I should be, nor am I even the thing I could be."

 Let us then re-dedicate ourselves. Let us have the courage to try again. Let us look upward to where our highest aspirations are and see their beauty, believe in them and follow where they lead. Faith in, and dedication to an ideal is a powerful thing.

 To realize power we have only to use it. All power is a trust. It increases with use and diminishes with neglect.

 We are apt to think of power as a physical force, in terms of numbers, size or scope. Beta Sigma Phi has that kind of power and has used and will use it well.

 But our greatest power is of a different nature. It is the power that gave our organization birth. It is the power that caused our Founder to present an idea, and the power that caused the first member to accept that idea. It was and is the greatest power of all--the power of faith, the power of aspiring spirits.

 This power was the same that first day when only two people embraced the idea as it is today. Indeed it seems a miracle that what we have today all came from that one day, one man, one idea. With each member has come--not greater power, since that was always there--but greater use of that power.

 Today our use of the power should be a hundred thousand times the use of that first day. It is probably many times over that, for the power of love, of faith, of truth and goodness and beauty does not grow by mere addition, but my multiplication. What we give to life blesses not one but every life that touches our own.

 Let us be thankful.

 The measure of our gratitude is the measure of our success in living. Every Beta Sigma Phi has something--or much--to say of the blessings of her membership. It seems to be a mysterious rule of life that those who "count their blessings" have the fastest increase of blessings to count.

 To mention even a very few of the blessings of Beta Sigma Phi--the friendships, the self-improvement, the service to others--is to realize how many others there are and to know that only in daily recognition and acknowledgment as things occur could we ever give proper thanks. It is to carry in our hearts a perpetual prayer of thanks for the good, the true and the beautiful--like saying a special grace each moment of each day for Beta Sigma Phi.

 A 25th anniversary is a very nice time to pause and "think on these things."

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