Spiritual weakness…

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We are usually confused between physical weakness and spiritual weakness.

The body needs to be cared for——–good food, exercise and good sleep.  The spirit has to be nurtured too.  Very often the daily grind gets to us and we are too tired to think of anything else besides a good night’s sleep at the end of the day.  Sleep does not come easily, and we toss and turn.  We have forgotten to pray before getting into bed.  We have not thanked God for all that he has done for us during the day.  And this is what we say:

“I’m too tired to pray

Said one, as the over-taxed strength gave way

The one conscious thought by my mind possessed

Is, oh, could I just drop it all and rest.

“Will God forgive me, do you suppose

If I go right to sleep as a baby goes

Without an asking if I may

Without ever trying to pray ?

Will God forgive you ? why think, dear heart,

When language to you was an unknown art,

Did a mother deny you needed rest,

Or refuse to pillow your head on her breast ?

Did she let you want when you could not ask ?

Did she set her child an unequal task ?

Or, did she cradle you in her arms,

and then guard your slumber against alarms ?

Ah, how quick was her mother-love to see

The unconscious yearnings of infancy

When you have grown too tired to pray

When over-wrought nature has quite given way

Then just drop it all, and give up to rest,

As you used o do on your mother’s breast

He knows all about it—He knows

So just go to sleep as a baby goes

Without even asking if you may

God knows when His child is too tired to pray

He judges not solely by uttered prayer

He knows when the yearnings of love are there

You have given your life your life up to Him to keep

THEN DO NOT BE AFRAID TO GO RIGHT TO SLEEP…

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Who is a friend?

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Who is a friend ?  You may have asked yourself this question.

We all know  the common Definition “A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND INDEED”.  What does the term “in need” really mean ?  Does it mean when you are in need of money to help you out of a sticky situation ?  No.  It means a friend should be there for you, when you need to share your problems, be there to lend you a shoulder to lean on, without flinching, to share your happy moments, to hold your hand when in doubt and if necessary to suggest solutions which you yourself cannot find.  A friend is the one to come through the door, when all the others have left.  A friend never comes in your way, except to stop you when you are about to fall down.

There are different kinds of friendships.  The ACQUAINTANCES——–People you know by name or face also known as “familiar strangers”.  Then you have the NEIGHBOURS——–People who may become friends, and we rely on them.  We also have the CONFEDERATES——–People who have specific purpose in our lives, and are often of unequal status.  CO-WORKERS———People with whom you work everyday, and they see more of you than anyone else.  Not to forget RELATIVES———-They are often overlooked, but they know us best.  The last, but also the best TRUE FRIENDS——-Two people , just being themselves, and who like you, as they see you, sometimes even beyond the façade you present to others.  They really know who and what you really are.   They accept you with all your shortcomings.  In fact, they do not size you up, they do not lay down any conditions in order to be a friend to you.  It is rare to find a true friend, but if you do find one, HOLD ON AND DON’T LET GO.  You will never regret that you held on.  May you find such a one.  Just be on the lookout.

Degrees of Faith…

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There are degrees to faith. 

The first phase believes when there are favourable emotions.  The second believes when there is the absence of feelings and the third form of faith believes when circumstances, emotions, appearances, people and human reason all urge to the contrary.  In the dictionary the meaning of FAITH is given as BELIEF (without proof) and the meaning of TRUST is given as FIRM BELIEF. 

There is a very subtle difference between FAITH and TRUST…

When is the time to trust ?

Is it when all is calm

When waves the victor’s palm

And life is one glad psalm

Of joy and praise ?

The time to trust

Is when the waves beat high

When storm clouds fill the sky

And prayer is one long cry

O help and save. 

When is the time to trust ?

Is it when friends are true ?

Is it when comforts woo

And in all we say and do

We meet but praise ?

The time to trust

Is when we stand alone

And summer birds have flown

And every prop is gone

All else but God.

When is the time to trust ?/

Is it some future day

When you have tried your way

And learned to trust and pray

By bitter woe ?

The time to trust

Is in this moment’s need

Poor, broken, bruised reed

Poor troubled soul make speed

To trust your God. 

When is the time to trust?

Is it when hopes beat high

When sunshine gilds the sky

And joy and ecstasy

Fill all the heart ?

The time to trust

Is when our joy is fled

When sorrow bows the head

And all is cold and dead

ALL ELSE BUT GOD…

——-Selected.

Ephemeral Beauty…

ephemeral beauty

EPHEMERAL = lasting for a markedly brief time.  It comes from the Greek word EPHEMEROS, which literally means LASTING ONLY ONE DAY.

Happiness is described as ephemeral, as one does not find it in a permanent state within the scope of human lives.  Some arts are ephemeral, like sand sculptures, ice sculptures, chalk drawings on footpaths.  Ephemeral animals like the brine shrimp and the mayfly are other examples.  The first rains bring with them the scent of the earth that has been parched.  The scent comes ——–and then it goes away.  Marguerite Theophil writes about the smell of the dry earth when it rains for the first time.  I believe the fragrance is called PETRICHOR, which comes from the Greek—–petra=stone and ichor= the fluid that flows in the veins of the Gods in Greek mythology.

She continues that during dry periods, an oil exuded by certain plants, is absorbed by clay-based soils and rocks.  When the rain falls, this is released in the air, along with GEOSMIN, a metallic by-product of bacteria, producing that heady scent.  Marguerite, further states that another ephemeral sensory delight is the experience of walking through fields of bluebells in England.  The “bluebell season ” is very brief, and people wait for the season with bated breath.  Bluebells are associated with WONDERMENT and FOLKLORE.

Next comes HANAMI, the Traditional Japanese custom of making time to enjoy the SAKURA or CHERRY BLOSSOM.  The flowers are very fragile and even slight rain causes the petals to fall off.  The flowers are also short-lived.  These flowers are treasured for their beauty and for the metaphor of the ephemeral nature o life.  The concept MONO NO AWARE——-the pathos of things is a Japanese concept, and is used to describe IMPERMANENCE.  Life is ephemeral, therefore we should learn to appreciate its beauty.

Be a comforter to others…

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Are there not someone in your circle to whom you natural turn to when in trouble ?They always seem to speak the right word, to give the very advice you are longing for.  You do not realise, however, the cost which they had to pay before they became so adept in binding up the gaping wounds and drying tears.  But if you were to delve into their past history, you would find that they have suffered more than most. They have watched the slow untwisting of some silver cord on which the lamp of life hung.  They have seen the golden bowl of joy shattered at their feet and its contents spilt.  They have stood by ebbing tides, and drooping gourds and noon sunsets.  They had no one in their circle to comfort them.

We all need someone close by when we are about to trip and stumble in our journey of life.  We naturally turn to God, but we also want someone to hold our hand and we look for a shoulder to cry on.  We want someone to hug us and make us feel better.  We are human after all.  So, those who have suffered, all the above-mentioned trials, become nurses and physicians of men.  The crates that come from abroad are clumsy enough; but they contain spices which fill the air with the fragrance of the Orient.  Thus, suffering is rough and hard to bear, but it hides beneath it discipline, lessons and possibilities which not only leave us nobler, but perfect us to help and comfort others who are in need of a hug, a kind word or just a sincere smile.  It doesn’t cost us anything much, for we have already seen what lack of comfort does to a person and so we give of our love and comfort without holding back.

What a coincidence!

You’ve probably read this a million times by now, but here it comes anyways…

 

Abraham Lincoln was born in 1808 and John F. Kennedy was born in1908.  Both worked for the welfare of the Blacks.  Booth who shot Lincoln was born in 1839, and Oswald who shot Kennedy was born in 1939.  Both the assassins belonged to the same town.  Both the assassins died before they were brought to the court.  Booth shot Lincoln in the theatre and then ran to the car, whereas Oswald shot Kennedy in the car and then ran to the theatre.  The name of the P.A. to Lincoln was Kennedy, and the name of the P.A. to Kennedy was Lincoln.  Interestingly, the name of the next President after both Lincoln and Kennedy was Johnson.

I am right, you are wrong…

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An article by Amrit Sadhana, attracted my attention the other day.

The phrase THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT was coined by Field and Selfridge, two successful businessmen in the US and UK. It has become a trading policy of the entire business world.  Shree Rajneesh Osho has coined a parallel idiom THE OTHER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.  It is a 180degrees turn from the popular attitude I AM RIGHT, YOU ARE WRONG.  Whenever there is a disagreement between people, each thinks the other is at fault.  The relationship becomes a —THINLY DISGUISED POWER STRUGGLE.  Therefore, if you hypothetically accept THE OTHER IS RIGHT and YOU ARE WRONG, when there is another disagreement, you will look at the matter differently.

When two people disagree, communication breaks down.  The adage THE OTHER IS ALWAYS RIGHT, makes you view your own behaviour.  Just sit down, close your eyes and look within.  Ask yourself

(1) What words did you use

(2) what was your tone and intensity

(3) What were your feelings

(4) Was there sarcasm or

(5) Was there a desire to hurt somebody because you were hurt yourself ?

When you look within, you see the whole incident objectively as if you were watching a movie, in which you, too, played an important role.  Thus it becomes a meditation.  Your ego will melt and you will be more receptive and meet the person, with whom you had a tiff, on a higher plane with more understanding and compassion.