The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

The Yellow of the Flame

By Jack Ross
From the March, 1963 issue of The Torch

 "A small party of men sat around the campfire at the base of the great mountain. As they readied their gear for the next day's attempt to climb the difficult, sheer face, one member of the party quietly asked the senior member of the group why he had chosen the man he chose to lead the party the next day. The answer came without hesitation: "I chose him because he can always keep his eyes on the trail and still see the top of the mountain."

 The word "vision" has a dreamlike quality about it that leads us to think of ancient prophets and mystics. It is much simpler and much more immediate than that. Vision is the ability to see. It is up to whether we see only the stones in the path and the dangerous, precarious places in the trail, or whether we see beyond that to the top of the mountain. We are only conscious of the danger of the fall when we look down. There is no awareness of the chasm when we look up.

 But not all of us are engaged in heroics on the grand scale of mountain climbing. Most of us must display the daily heroism of devotion to our tasks, unnoticed perhaps, but just as important to those around us as any man on a climbing rope upon whom his fellows depend for their very lives. Anson G. Chester, in his wonderful poem, The Tapestry Weavers, can tell us about vision for our daily lives. He said:

 Let us take to our heart a lesson,
No braver lesson can be,
From the ways of the tapestry weavers,
On the other side of the sea.
Above their head the pattern hangs,
They study it with care,
And as to and fro the shuttle leaps
Their eyes are fastened there.
They tell this curious thing besides,
Of the patient, plodding weaver:
He works on the wrong side evermore,
But works for the right side ever.
It is only when the weaving stops,
And the web is loosed and turned,
That he sees his real handiwork,
That his marvelous skill is learned.

 He ends the poem:

 But, looking above for the pattern,
No weaver hath need to fear;
Only let him look clear into Heaven-
The perfect Pattern is there.
If he keeps the face of the Saviour
Forever and always in sight,
His toil shall be sweeter than honey,
And his weaving is sure to be right.

 If you are climbing a mountain, or weaving a tapestry, or making a home, your success depends on where you look and what you see. If you see only the pitfalls and dangers, you will never reach the top of the mountain. A beautiful tapestry cannot be woven from an ugly pattern. The goal of homemaking is not sweeping and dusting.

 All of us are moving down our separate pathways which lead in the same direction. There are turnings and twistings and side paths in every road; there are dark forests and broad vistas along every way. Those of us who will pass along our paths most easily are those who know where they are going. There are those who can see beyond the turning of the road, beyond the side paths, beyond the dark forests. There are those who recognize when a milestone has been passed, who can see the top of the mountain, who find down the road an impelling reason for moving on, and who find in that reason enough joy that the way seems short and the pathway seems smooth.

 This is vision. It is to see."

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