Tag Archives: problems

View from a bridge

The children sat on the farm track bridge over the multi lane highway. They speculated where each speeding car was going. Being young they could only imagine happy places; exotic holidays or trips to a fun fair. After awhile they wondered to each other if this was how God saw people on their journeys. They came to the conclusion that it was.
And so when their grandfather came to collect them for their evening meal, they told him of all the enticing destinations that they imagined for the people far below. The old man smiled yet he knew many were not so bound. Some would be going home to family troubles, financial worries and fears of  illness. As they wound their way home, the children asked if the view they had from the bridge was the same as for God. ‘Not quite’ said their grandfather – ‘God seems them differently.  You see God is with them in their cars.’

Let us pray:

Lord God,
Help us not to see people from afar
But close up on their life’s journey.
Be with us as we speed through the world
And be with us pool, at our happy and sad destinations.

Amen

Writing the answer

He prayed on his knees. He prayed standing. He prayed sitting. But he had never heard the voice of God.

 

So he started to write down his prayers. At first no more than a few lines – big issues and real problems. He still heard nothing. Yet he wrote on, enjoying the confidence of pen and paper. Page after page, notebook after notebook were filled with the intimacies of his deepest thoughts and desires. But yet he sensed no answer.

Continue reading Writing the answer

What Hamilton’s victory teaches the Church?

It was great to see Lewis Hamilton win the British Grand Prix as Silverstone this weekend. Of course, no one doubts that his podium position was the result of talent, teamwork and courage. But there is another quality in that mix; it is persistence. Since Mercedes, a few seasons back, had all sorts of technical problems with its cars yet sheer doggedness has turned the situation around to victory.

 

Most congregations are constantly trying to innovate yet never quite succeed. Why? Maybe we don’t persist in working though the hurdles in the way of any change. Yet if the idea was right in the first place, dogged determination will defeat these difficulties and win the race.

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