Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Mending Wall - by Robert Frost (1874-1963)

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(For better living: Ask the Holy Spirit to heal our wall.)

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,

And spills the upper boulders in the sun,

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of hunters is another thing:

I have come after them and made repair

Where they have left not one stone on a stone,

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,

To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,

No one has seen them made or heard them made,

But at spring mending-time we find them there.

I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;

And on a day we meet to walk the line

And set the wall between us once again.

We keep the wall between us as we go.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls

We have to use a spell to make them balance:

'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'

We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Oh, just another kind of out-door game,

One on a side. It comes to little more:

There where it is we do not need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it

Where there are cows?

But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offense.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That wants it down. ' I could say '. Elves' to him,

But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

He will not go behind his father's saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Greyhound and Rabbit

What might make you stop and think about what it is you should be doing with the days and years ahead, what it is that is worth all your heart, all your might and all your soul? The following story may make you think.

Once upon a time there was a man who was involved in adopting retired greyhounds. As each new greyhound came to his shelter he would ask the same questions, curious about why the elegant and swift dog stopped racing. The man inquired of the greyhound,

“Why are you not running any more? Are you not as fast as you used to be?’

“No,” the greyhound responded, “that is not the reason. I am just as fast now as I always was. I continue to win all my races.”

“Well, then, were you not making enough money for your owner?’

“No, actually with each race the money I brought in for my owner increased. He became very wealthy because of me.”

“Did you stop racing then because you were not getting enough press?”

“No, that was not the problem. I was quite famous. I was getting plenty of press. When I raced I was on the front page of every sports section.”

“I don’t understand,” the man responded. “Why did you stop running?’

Because I discovered that the rabbit I was chasing wasn’t real.

Everyday we need to make lots of decisions about what is worth pursuing- perhaps it will be a career, a relationship, perhaps we will chase health or wealth, or all of the above. What will truly merit our time? What is lasting? What’s real? How do we decide?

Perhaps we can stop chasing the rabbit that isn’t real, and discover the passion within us.

Everyone of us holds a part of someone else’s story, just as someone will hold a part of ours. Each of us carries a piece of the puzzle of life’s meaning. You will recognize this piece that belongs to you and you alone, if you do not let what doesn’t really matter distract you, if you discover what is your passion, what makes your heart leap. You must hold on to that part of the puzzle with all your soul, as though your life depends on it, because it does.

In each of our lives, there is at least one missing piece and the only way to find it is in others. Our goal is to seek those others as if our life depends on it, because it does. We can’t solve complex math problems without the help of a calculator.

Remember that all things in our lives that we spend so much of our time and energy creating are built on sand. It is only our relationships to others that endure.

Sooner or later, a wave will come and knock down what we have worked so hard to build up. It will just vanish. When that happens, when life knocks us down, when we don’t get what we think we deserve, only those of us who have somebody else’s hand to hold will be able to stand up again.

Sometimes the harshness of life, its disappointments, its pain, it unfairness leave us speechless. Sometimes personal circumstances turn us into despair. But if we know what is our passion, what makes our heart leap; it will carry us through those inevitable times of disappointment and uncertainty.

Don’t pursue success and happiness as ends in themselves; like the greyhound chasing the rabbit, we will inevitably be disappointed. It may fill our time and our pockets, but it won’t fill our soul. We will be busy, but we won’t be fulfilled.

True success and happiness are by-products of doing what it is God loves, what moves us in the very depths of our soul.

Be part of, and contribute to outreaching to someone who needs God. Remember what matters; what lasts; remember what is real. I invite you to join me in pouring our heart and soul into the Badminton Outreach Ministry. Its mission is: "Have Life Abundantly (John 10:10)". I have no doubt that its fruitful harvest will be both real and lasting. Through life, we all need God.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Faith and Hope

Faith insists that the victory is now.

Hope assures that victory will come.

Often time, we are too shallow to lose faith, and too narrow to dim hope.

May God find us faithful and hopeful until Christ returns.