Hi. I’m Ken Jones, and this is A Classic State of Mind with a Word About … Notes.
I love the word “notes.” In my lifetime, I don’t even know how many notes I’ve written. Some of my notes were of the musical kind. Blotches on treble or bass cleffs, for singers to sing, or players to play. I’ve written a lot of music notes over the course of my life. I can re-visit songs I’ve composed, lyrics I’ve written, because I made ‘notes’ of music.
I’ve had a habit of scribbling down ideas for stories or pieces I want to write on small note pads, too. Short blurbs to remind me of some thought I’ve had, or something I notice that I don’t want to forget. Notes help me to remember. Notes help me not forget.
Once in awhile, I sit in my home office and ramble through some of my favorite books in my bookstacks. For some reason, leafing through a book I’ve read, and remembering some of the highlights of that work is a very enjoyable pastime for me. I’ve had the habit of writing vocabulary words I’m unfamiliar with that an author may use in a book I’m reading. I make note of those words, on the inside back cover of the book. And as I sit in my office, sometimes I’ll take a book off my shelf, and turn to the back to see what words might be there. It might seem odd to others, but for me, such an activity brings solace and quiet to my soul.
Yesterday, I found a note I had left to myself in one of my books several years ago. It was a small piece of paper. On the paper there were some statements I had written, as if I didn’t want to forget them. Here they are:
- Life is difficult. (There was no comment after any of the statements. Just a simple list. And the first thing I had written on my note was that life is difficult. Funny, that I would put such a thing on a list, almost as if I didn’t want to forget or needed to remind myself that life is difficult.)
- The second statement on the note: “I am not that important.” The bible says that we shouldn’t think more highly of ourselves than we ought to thing. At this point, I should probably mention that I have no idea where I was when I composed this note, nor what I was going through, personally. The note was tucked into a book that was first published in the early 2000’s. Someone had given me the book. Maybe they thought I needed it? Don’t know. But the second statement I included on the note tucked inside that book underscored a truth I’ve known for awhile, now: “I am not that important.”
- The third statement re-established an obvious truth I have been living with for many, many years: “I am not in control.” Like many people, perhaps, there are times when I sort of ‘assume’ I’m in control. I know where I’m living. But I only get to live where I want to live until something happens that is totally out of my control that necessitates my living somewhere I didn’t choose. No. Number three on my note was, indeed, correct: I am not in control.
- The forth sentence on my ‘reminder’ note sounds on the surface, perhaps, a bit ‘ominous.’ But, perhaps not. Number four is: “I am going to die.” Now, since I do not at all remember writing the note, and it was most certainly composed more than 20 years ago, it’s pretty apparent to me that I didn’t consider my demise ‘eminent.’ No matter. I guess it’s still A good reminder: I’m going to die.
- And now, to number five. I find it interesting that number five was: empty. Although I had written down the number five, as if I would be including some statement similar to the other four, I had left number five blank. I’ve given much thought to what was suppose to go into number five. But, I’m going to leave it blank, put the note back into the book where I found it. And believe that perhaps, after I’m gone, some pilgrim looking for something to read will come across my list, tucked away in the pages of a book I once read.
The Book? The book someone hoped I would read? The book where the note will be hidden is titled: “Humility: True Greatness” by C.J. Mahaney.