“I will meditate on your precepts, and consider your ways.” Psalm 119:15
Tom Hanks, who acts the part of Fred Rogers in a new movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” was asked, “What was the hardest thing about playing Mister Rogers?”
“Slowing down,” Tom replied. Most of us find slowing down hard for us also. At this holiday season, we rush to send holiday greetings, shop for gifts, decorate our homes, bake goodies, and attend holiday programs and parties.
Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister. His wife, Joanne Rogers said, “He rarely talked about his faith but he spread God’s love in everything he did. His life was his sermon.” Joanne Rogers shared that her husband, Fred, “Would get up early in the morning to read the Bible and pray.” Do we take time out of our day to meditate and be silent with listening ears toward God?
Mr. Rogers imparted gentle wisdom and advice for children. He emphasized the importance of real human connections. In an earlier 2010 documentary called, “Mister Rogers and Me”, director Benjamin Wagner stated: “What was so important to Fred was being really, really, present and deeply engaged with the person you’re sitting across from.”
A Guidepost magazine editor states, “The film, ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ captures his legacy, reminding people to be kind and neighborly, to try to forgive those who hurt them and see the innate goodness in all people.”
Tim Lybarger, the founder of the Neighborhood Archive fan-appreciation website, says he thinks Rogers’ work is as relevant as ever today. “Who isn’t starving for a message of self-value and peace and love and appreciation?”
Prayer: Dear God, help us to remember to slow down, be still, and listen to you and to those who need us to be present with them. Amen.