BY-WAYS - 10/29/42 - When a leaf reaches its greatest beauty...

This is one of those heavenly fall days, when the yellow leaves reflect the sunlight, and cast a golden halo over the earth. It was such a day as this - nine years ago - that the mother of one of my best friends was laid to rest. The three loving daughters were grief-stricken. As Sherry and I stood in her yard, with the aureole of the autumn sun in her golden trees about us, the thought came: that when a leaf reaches its greatest beauty, it must fall - to apparent oblivion; so it is with a beautiful character; he or she loses the earthly form, only to rise again, in new beauty. The marvels of nature certainly prove the immortality of the soul. I can't enjoy today as much as I should. Because I'm mad. I was to have gone home with Merle (Deemer) this week-end. At the last minute, so to speak, I developed - or, rather, invited back for the weekend - the grandfather of sore throats. So - there are YOU - and this glorious weather, and here am I. It was to be such fun; Merle wrote and pretended he had to play in a concert this week, the inference being that he would not be home; I was going to surprise Ina's family no end. Just like a woman, I had to share the secret with three friends back there, who were charged with secrecy. Quite blithely I told the assistant superintendent and teachers of the Juniors that they would have to get along without me this Sunday. They did. And so far as I can learn from Estelle (who plays the piano and counts noses) they never even missed me.

Sometime soon I would like to tell you all about my "co-superintendent," as I call her. She is a choice person. Today I'll just pass along an idea that may be of value to teachers and Sunday School leaders - to stimulate regular attendance and preparation of the Bible lesson. We talked the matter over in a teacher's meeting, and these zealous teachers are willing to do any amount of extra work if it will create greater interest for the children. Each teacher has her own record book, in which she keeps each child's attendance, whether or not he brought his Bible, and whether or not he prepared his lesson (part of which is written). Since we are quite airplane conscious these days we decided to make a flying world tour each term. We purchased a large world map, on which Merle outlined a troup, with twelve stops (for twelve lessons). We bought six gay little airplanes (wing spread -about 4 inches). Six different colors, one for each class. Since the airplanes would get in each other's way on the map, one boy suggested stringing fine wires across the front of the room, with airplanes suspended therefrom. So - we are off, in a fine race around the world! And you should see those children work - and round up the dilatory members of their class. It makes for good team-work. I won't go into more detail here, about the way we figure points, etc., but if anyone wants more information, I'll be glad to furnish it. Just so we don't lose the spiritual significance of this "flight" I prepared the following poem:


So we go forth, on wings of faith
With the Master as our guide.
No fog of doubt can bring us down,
With Jesus at our side.
The Bible is our compass, and
The lessons form a chart-
With special help in storms of life;
These things we learn by heart.
The teachers are the pilots,
And you the worthy crew;
How far, how high, how well we fly
Depends so much on you.
Tune up the motors, set the wings
To fly above the sod
Of pettiness. Oh, let's fly high!
"Ambassadors of God."

Florence B. Taylor

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