A decade ago I received a present from a friend, Randy Friesen (surgeon, not to be mistaken for Randall Friesen, pastor and also a friend).  The book was called “Markings” written by Dag Hammarkjold, former secretary general of the United Nations.

Every once in a while I return to these short, pithy statements.  This is really a journal Dag kept over a number of years.  Today I was looking at some things he said when he was around my age.

Try this one out for Christmas eve thinking (written 12.24.60) — “How proper it is that Christmas should follow Advent.  For him who looks towards the future, the Manger is situated on Golgatha, and the Cross has already been raised in Bethlehem.” 

Or, from page 91 — “I am the vessel.  The draught is God’s.  And God is the thirsty one.  —  In the last analysis, what does the word “sacrifice” mean?  Or even the word “gift”?  He who has nothing can give nothing. The gift is God’s — to God.”

Let’s move back to when Dag was around 20 – 25 years of age.

“Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step:  only he who keeps his eye fixed o nthe far horizon will find his right road. — Never measure the geight of a mountain, until you have reached the top.  Then you will see how low it was. — Life only demands from you the strength you possess.  Only one feat is possible – not to have run away.”  (p. 7-8)