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 Brighten the Corner

by Ina Duley Ogdon, 1877-?


“Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do…but brighten the corner where you are!”  These words were born out of frustration when the talented speaker, Mrs. Ina Ogdon, was selected to be on the Chautauqua Circuit.  This would give her the opportunity to reach thousands around the country with her brilliant oratory.  Just before she was to leave on the tour, her father was injured seriously in an automobile accident.  Ina felt it necessary to cancel her plans so she could take care of her father.


At first Mrs. Ogdon felt much anger and resentment against God for allowing this tragedy to happen.  Gradually, however, she determined that she would be happy and remain “true to the many duties near” her.  She would do her best to “brighten the corner” where God had placed her.  Ina completed this poem in 1913.  Later it was set to music by the well-known musician, Charles Gabriel, and it became the popular theme song of the Billy Sunday-Homer Rodeheaver campaigns.  Interestingly, Mrs. Ogdon no doubt ministered effectively to more people with these challenging words, born of despair, than she would have done with her speaking tours on the Chautauqua Circuit.


To reject fame and what “might have been” is never easy.  But yielding to the will of God is always the right thing.  Resolve that, regardless of the frustrating and mundane duties you may face in your little and unknown ministry, you will, with God’s help, do them cheerfully as unto the Lord, seeking to bring some spark of joy and kindness into the life of another.  In doing so, it just might help to carry this little musical reminder around with you throughout the day…