If Only         Dave Smith

“Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.

Trouble no one about his religion.

Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.

Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.

Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.

Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.

Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.

Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.

If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

Touch not the poisonous firewater that makes wise ones turn to fools and robs their spirit of its vision.

When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.

Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.”




– Tecumseh, Shawnee (1768-1813)


Having watched the movie Hostiles, I thought about the last few years in what is now “our” country.  The wisdom of the above lines, for me in my Christian view, lies in living a disciple’s life.  My past has very little to acclaim, but my future holds heaven because today I walk with Christ and know the Holy Spirit lives in all around me.  So walk at least as best as my human-ness can. I seek answers in sits and thinks, but this day I find the peace in lines from Chief Crowfoot as he defines “life”:

It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

Chief Crowfoot
or Isapo-Muxika (Issapóómahksika) “Crow-big-foot”
Siksika First Nation
Alberta, Canada

And so, too, I find my faith and my God – ever present in the little things too often missed.