Arthur Ashe on God and religion

Arthur Ashe’s moving memoir ‘Days of Grace’ ends with a heartfelt letter to his (then) six year old daughter Camera in which he unpacks all the things he suspects his illness will deny him the opportunity of telling her in future. Covering a range of categories from the importance of family, racial discrimination, loss, marriage, money and even faith, it reads like a distillation of many years of living and learning. The section where he talks about faith and religion reads like a primer for a balanced,  liberal, yet essentially Judeo-Christian worldview. Excerpts below:

…have faith in God. Do not be tempted either by pleasures and material possessions, or by the claims of science and smart thinkers, into believing that religion is obsolete and that the worship of God is somehow beneath you. Spiritual nourishment is as important as physical nourishment, or as intellectual nourishment. The religion you choose is not as important as a fundamental faith in God.

… Beyond the different dogma must be the sense of yourself as created by God for a purpose, and as being under God’s law at all.

… Be ruled by that rule called golden; do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Do not beg God for favours. Instead, ask God for the wisdom to know what is right, what God wants and the will to do it.

A profile of the man and his wife’s thoughts on losing him in ’93.


  1. Ginger · November 2, 2011

    Do not beg God for favours? A whole generation of gospel ministries missed out on that important tidbit. Infact they load your rifle and tell you to 'demand' it.


    • theOOhj · November 3, 2011

      LOL.. Interesting metaphor you suggest here… Seems like Dr Sign Freeman's currently the poster child for this attitude…


  2. kmplx · November 2, 2011

    ah, , love this one as well. i really should get back into my bookworm mode.


    • theOOhj · November 3, 2011

      Yes you should…. Within reason.. We can't have everyone with their nose in a book. The rest of us have to live vicariously through you lot.. 🙂


  3. Kitten · November 8, 2011

    I like that. Our greatest gift to the world is passing on life's lessons and wisdom.


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