Well, you never knew exactly how much space you occupied in people’s lives.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, from Tender Is the Night
John Keats was one of the greatest poets of the English language. Among other things he wrote Ode to a Nightingale, the beautiful poem from which F. Scott Fitzgerald got the title of his famous book Tender is the Night. Fitzgerald was so moved by Keats that he said “for awhile after you quit Keats all other poetry seems to be only whistling or humming.” What you might not know is that Keats started his life wanting to be a doctor and even went to medical school. There he met Leigh Hunt (who you probably don’t know) who inspired him to write. His work was not well received by the critics of his day and when he died at only 26 years of age he had no way of knowing that he was destined to be an inspiration to both writers and readers for centuries to follow.
C.S. Lewis put this in perspective when he said “We think we know the play. We do not know the play. We do not even know whether we are in Act I or Act V. The Author knows. When it is over, we may be told. We are led to expect that the Author will have something to say to each of us on the part that each of us has played. The playing it well is what matters infinitely.”
Your life is more important than you know.
Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek. Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The LORD be with you!” “The LORD bless you!” they answered. Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?” The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”