Tag Archives: change

The Bookshop

I climbed the stairs slowly to the secondhand book store. There sitting in piles of stock sat it’s owner reading behind a tatty desk. Above him was pinned a notice proclaiming – there is a book here for you! Somehow I doubted it. Yet I searched reasonably diligently in the novels, hobbies and history sections. Even the personal development and spirituality shelves held nothing to whet my appetite of imagination. So I couldn’t resist the temptation to return to the desk and remark – ‘ I can’t find my book.’ The old man smiled and said, ‘it’s there behind you!’ I turned and saw a volume bearing my name. On opening it, I read my early life, my youth and my recent stagnating years. I saw days of  success and failure, happiness and sadness, peace and struggle. Finally, I found a paragraph starting –  ‘I climbed the stairs slowly…..’ . The remaining pages were blank. In my surprise I turned to the shop owner . He was offering a pen and gesturing that I now write something afresh.

Lord, thanks for the blank pages
Of life yet to come
Many we write on them
Words that are worthy of ourselves
And you

Amen

The Painting

The artist opened her paint box, dampened her brush and started. Before her was a beautiful Tudor half timbered house complete with moat and gatehouse. She worked quickly on that hot summer’s day. The picture developed and showed no sign of the many visitors who trooped passed her on they way to tour the building. She disliked their intrusion with garish tops and shorts into this piece of history. Suddenly she sighted an old man in straw hat and linen jacket stop and gaze at the house. He was perfect for inclusion just at the bridge over the moat.
Soon the painting was finished as the shadows swiftly changed towards afternoon. So she collected her gear and stood up. There beside her was the gentleman she had portrayed. They talked and she asked if he knew the house well. ‘Yes’ he replied ‘many years ago I lived here’.
‘My uncle once owned it and I stayed here as a boy each summer’. ‘Do you miss it?’ asked the artist. ‘Of course but you can’t turn the clocks back. Now it is the property of the tourists who pay to keep it up’ . He went on ‘ now why don’t you paint it again but include the  visitors this time – that will picture the future?’ A few minutes late he left with the first picture and the painter started again remembering that time runs in only one direction.

Let us pray
Lord help us to value the present
Treasure the past
And use them
To found hope in the future.

Amen

Free advert for the Church

Free advertising for the Church.

 

The PR executive crossed his office to shake hands. His expensively tailored suit and designer shoes gave him an natural confidence as he guided the clergyman to a chair. Without small talk, he asked  what his firm could do for him.  ‘My church wants to mount an advertising campaign across the nation – came the hopeful reply. The advertising man  tried  to hide pity since no mainstream denomination could ever afford his fees. Best to let the pastor down gently. So he asked what exactly he had in mind. ‘OK – We thought billboards, bus signs and maybe some television advents’ . There was silence in the room as the businessman sighed and tapped on a calculator. Then he pushed it across the desk. The Minister whistled and got up to leave. He was weary from similarly unfruitful  visits to the city’s PR companies.

 

The PR  Man felt a pang of sympathy.’ Look’  – he said – ‘I have a solution for you! It’s one any Christian can afford’. The clergy man looked perplexed – what could advertise the possibility of new trust, hope and change so cheaply? ‘ What is it?’- he asked.

‘Yourself’- came the surprising reply!

 

Are you like coffee beans?

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee…You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma the daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its insides became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

By - Jack Jack Kornfield

From 'Morning with Dilbert' Blog