The Music and the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain standard time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at musicandthespokenword.org.
Conductors: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Organist: Andrew Unsworth
Announcer: Lloyd Newell
“‘Give,’ Said the Little Stream”1
Music: William B. Bradbury
Lyrics: Fanny J. Crosby
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy
“The King of Love My Shepherd Is”
Music: Ryan Murphy
Lyrics: Henry W. Baker
“How Great Thou Art” (Organ solo)
Swedish folk tune
Arrangement: Dale Wood
“But Thanks Be to God”2 from Messiah
Music: George Frideric Handel
“Sunrise, Sunset”3 from Fiddler on the Roof
Music: Jerry Bock
Lyrics: Sheldon Harnick
Arrangement: Arthur Harris
“Thou Lovely Source of True Delight”
Music: Mack Wilberg
Lyrics: Anne Steele; additional text by David Warner
- On the CD Teach Me to Walk in the Light and in the CD set The Missionary Collection.
- On the CDs Messiah—Complete Oratorio and Messiah—Highlights.
- On the CD Showtime! Music of Broadway and Hollywood and in the CD set Encore Collection.
The Spoken Word
“A Calm and Modest Life”
In November 1922, Albert Einstein was on his way to Japan to give a lecture when he was told that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. People in Japan were already eager to meet the famous physicist, and this news only intensified the excitement. Einstein was somewhat overwhelmed by all the publicity, so when he arrived in Japan he secluded himself in his hotel room to write down his thoughts and feelings.
Just then, a messenger arrived with a delivery. Einstein wanted to give him a tip, but he either didn’t have small change or the messenger would not accept money. So Einstein instead scribbled out two short notes and handed them to the messenger. “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness,” read one. And the other: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Reportedly, Einstein said to the messenger, “Someday these notes will be worth more than spare change.”
And indeed they are. Those autographed notes recently sold at an auction for nearly two million dollars.1 But the true value of Einstein’s simple wisdom, scratched on hotel stationery, can’t be counted in dollars.
Today the temptation is as strong as ever to seek happiness in a restless pursuit of success. And yet the faster we run, the more likely we are to run right past what we’re seeking. We need time to reflect and ponder, to slow down and think, to enjoy the people around us—moments of calmness, of contentment, of peace—to make sure we are on the right track.
It’s not always easy to find such moments. But as Einstein wrote on that other priceless piece of paper, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It might take great strength of will, but we can slow down and be purposeful about how we’re spending our time. It’s never too late to change course, refocus our priorities, and be more thoughtful about the purpose of our lives.
Yes, those bits of wisdom are worth much more than spare change. The great genius was on to something—something profound and powerful. Today might be a good time to consider Einstein’s advice from long ago.
- See Rachel Siegel, “Einstein Scribbled His Theory of Happiness in Place of a Tip. It Just Sold for More Than $1 Million,”Washington Post, Oct. 24, 2017, washingtonpost.com.It’s human nature to.