The Door of Yesterday

Bald eagle

LOOKING FORWARD

I’ve shut the door on Yesterday,
Its sorrows and mistakes;
I’ve locked within its gloomy walls
Past failures and heartaches.
And now I throw the key away
To seek another room,
And furnish it with hope and smiles,
And every springtime bloom.

No thought shall enter this abode
That has a hint of pain,
And every malice and distrust
Shall never therein reign.
I’ll shut the door on Yesterday,
And throw the key away—-
Tomorrow holds no doubt for me,
Since I have found Today.

—Author Unknown to me

Tempted but Resolved

Fandango’s One-word Challenge this morning: TEMPTATION

Merriam-Webster says: tempt implies the presenting of an attraction so strong that it overcomes the restraints of conscience or better judgment.

This word automatically brings to mind the Bible verse:
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” — James 4:7

You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to understand that thought. Should some temptation sidle up beside you, if you turn your face resolutely and head in the opposite direction, you will much more easily overcome the thing than if you look its way — even if you’re arguing with it.

In another sense, temptation is like that proverbial rat the dog played with, then buried, but he left the tail hanging out “just in case.”

Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of temptation:
the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.

We do occasionally use the word TEMPTATION in the less menacing sense. We feel a desire to do something, though there’s some question involved. As we face the New Year, the clean page, the sense of starting-over, a lot of us are tempted to make New Year’s Resolutions. I have.

Is this wise? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you keep them? Would you advise a friend to make one, or to abandon the idea?

To be on the safe side, my resolutions are a January-only thing. I’m hoping once started I’ll develop enough momentum to carry them on from there. But for the month of January I’m resolved to:
—spend more time in the quest for physical fitness. (Read: diet and exercise!)
My arthritis is getting me down and I’m resolved to start fighting back
—deal with sewing projects that have lingered in the spare room closet too long
—post a haiku a day on my other blog, Tree Top Haiku

O-E-D defines RESOLVED as firmly determined to do something.

As I understand it, the success of a New Year’s resolution depends very little on the project contemplated, and almost entirely on the resolve of the individual. I know from past experience that the temptation to do something else will certainly come along and crook an inviting finger, just to test the strength of my resolve.

Which reminds me of a quote I just read yesterday:  🙂

Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.

—Robert Benchley

Be There for Me

Fellow Blogger Joel Tipple has posted an inspiring poem about coming along beside and lending strength and support to someone who’s down. He’s kindlly allowed me to reblog it so you can enjoy it, too.

Hop over to Write here, Joel to read more inspiring Christian poetry. There’s a link in my sidebar.

Write here, Joel.

Be there for me
when everything’s wrong.
Be there for me
when I’m not feeling strong.
When everyone runs away
like I’m a building burning,
run to me and say you’ll stay.

I sometimes dream there will be a day,
when I can stand for someone too
but then this tidal wave of sad knocks me over.
I might be able to hold on a little longer
if I knew you’d row out
and pull me in with your oar.

Be there for me
when I’m not attractive or fun,
when I don’t have anything
that anyone would want,
when I look like I’ve been washed up
by the sands of time,
when what separates me and death
is a very thin line.

I’ve heard your Jesus
went through a lot too.
If you know him, could he help me too?
I’m not looking for charity,
I just need a…

View original post 35 more words

HOPE: Our Life’s Anchor

Fandango’s one-word  prompt yesterday was ANCHOR.

When I saw that word I sat down and let my mind — and fingers  — contemplate the subject. I came up with this writing before we left for church, thinking I’d have time to post it sometime during the day — but then our day turned out quite full. Anyway, here are my thoughts.

And now I can work in Fandango’s latest one-word prompt: FRAGILE,
An anchor cannot be a fragile thing. It hooks among the seabed rocks close to the shore and holds on for dear life. The anchor, and the line that holds it to the ship, are responsible for the lives of all those on board. Anchors and ropes are tested to be sure they’ll stand the strain.

When I saw the word ANCHOR, I immediately thought of that line in the old hymn, Whispering Hope.
“Hope, as an anchor so steadfast….”

Isn’t that the truth! Often the quality of our life is wrapped around HOPE:
the sick live with the hope of better days ahead,
the depressed carry on in the hope of brighter times to come
the poor live in hope of finding financial stability
the destitute live in hopes of a home, or at least a safe location
those who believe in a merciful Creator hope for an eternal reward
the grieving embrace the hope that their loved ones are in a better world now, or at least no longer suffer
and almost everyone lives in hope of finding and maintaining love, friendships, family ties.

Like an anchor keeps a ship from drifting off course in a storm, so hope keeps us heading in the direction of our life-goal, keeps us from being blown off course by gales of circumstance.

Hope anchors most of our actions; without it our days turn into a pointless, emotion-driven meander. Should our hope be a fragile thing, should it break as soon as adversity comes, courage usually fails and our ship might be tossed on a wild sea before we land in a quite spot again.

In extreme cases depressed people curl up in a fetal position and die. Mentally, people crawl into a shell when they’ve lost hope. Physically they cease to take care of their bodies and often fall into substance abuse.

An ANCHOR we need in this turbulent world
— and HOPE is a vital part of that anchor.

When Jesus walked this earth, He offered this promise: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls…” (Matt 12:29) He knew that finding this “rest for your souls” — peace of mind, freedom from guilt and fear — is one of humanity’s greatest needs. One of the best anchors in life.

He didn’t come to offer a guilt-riddled set of rules. (For some reason we humans naturally tend to gravitate towards religious systems that offer heaps of Dos and Don’ts.) Neither did He come to promote the freedom to do whatever we want, without conscience, using and stomping on other people to fulfill our own desires.

On second thought, He did give us some rules:
Turn the other cheek. Go the second mile. Forgive. Don’t hold grudges. Freely give. Respect your elders. Show kindness to the widows, orphans, and strangers among you. Don’t be a hypocrite. Don’t make rules for other people that you can’t even keep yourselves.

Most people seem to know that these are good rules. that they’ll give folks a happy, stress-free life such as we all hope for.

One more thing about HOPE: It’s one of those beautiful “multiplying” qualities: a person can freely offer their hope to others without diminishing their own supply.

Has someone shared HOPE with you lately? Have you shared yours?

What A Seed Can Do

Here’s my response to Fandango’s prompt word this morning: INGENUITY

What A Seed Can Do

A seed fell one day
in a most hapless way
on pavement where no seed should be
but it found a small track
in the asphalt so black
and ventured to make a tree.

Yes, that seed settled back
in the tiniest crack
and put out the slenderest thread
which grabbed, on its trek
at some mouldy-leaf speck
and dug for itself a small bed.

It rained in the night
to the rootlet’s delight;
it drank in the droplets. Such blessing!
Then it reached out yet farther
and soon came another;
the process was surely progressing.

Now, this asphalt was meant
to entirely prevent
any seedling from ever amounting,
lest a weed in the way
spoil their parking display,
but the pavers weren’t ever accounting

for the way that a seed
given water and feed
can make for itself a nice living,
and to their dismay
saw a tree spring one day
from that asphalt so dark and un-giving.

Arms of Support

Trees

In every path of timber you
will always find a tree or two
that would have fallen long ago,
borne down by wind or age or snow,
had not another neighbor tree
held outs its arms in sympathy
and caught the tree that the storm had hurled
to earth. So, neighbors, is the world.

In every patch of timber stand
Samaritans of forest land:
the birch, the maple, oak and pine,
the fir the cedar, all in line.
In every wood, unseen, unknown,
they bear the burdens of their own
and bear as well another form,
some neighbor stricken in the storm.

Shall tree be nobler to their kind
than men, who boast the noble mind?
Shall there exist within the wood
this great eternal brotherhood
of oak and pine, of hill and fen,
and not within the hearts of men?
God grant that men are like to these,
and brothers, brotherly as trees.

Author unknown to me