Hi, everyone! With the news coming out of Boston today, it is easy to be overwhelmed with sadness and discouragement. It devastates me as a parent, a teacher, an American,...Our prayers are with those so tragically affected by the attacks in Boston. Please join us in praying for them as well!!!
Mimi's post today reminds me of just how important it is to carry on, to keep the faith, to hold out hope in all circumstances. I pray that you find encouragement in her words as well. Beauty from ashes...that's His promise!!! Shannon
Life Comes from Recalculating
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been reminded of a saying that goes something like this…If at first you don’t succeed, try and try, again!!!
Although, that phrase may be an encouragement to some, I am not one of them. When I hear that phrase, I quickly revert to one of my favorite expressions…only a foolish person continues doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result!!!!
Yes, there is a place for ENDURANCE with TENACITY and PERSEVERANCE at all costs in order to stay the course and achieve a desired result. But often we fail to recognize that sometimes it is necessary to back up, reassess the situation, and attempt a different approach.
It is kind of like the obnoxiously-toned GPS that I have. The voice screeches—recalculating, recalculating—as it provides me a new and different approach to my desired destination. Whether or not I like the sound of the voice of the GPS is immaterial; it is warning me that I need to recalculate.
The other night at our nursing home ministry, I was honored to be holding the song book for a precious elderly lady friend that is a stroke victim. She loves the singing and musical part of our service. She cannot see very well, nor can she hold anything with her partially paralyzed arm. Last month, she forgot her glasses, could not see at all. and so she just hummed along with the piano playing. This month upon entering the room, she proudly held up her glasses with her good hand, as if to say, “This week I got it!!!”
Shortly into the song service, I realized that she still could not focus enough to read the words on the page. I was not sure if it was the lighting in the room or her failing eyes, but clearly she was doing all she could and seeing was not happening. We re-positioned her book and adjusted her glasses, but to no avail. At the end of the service as I leaned over to hug her goodbye, she literally “lit up” with another idea. I could see it on her sweet face. She excitedly exclaimed, “I have a large magnifying glass that hangs around my neck. Do you think that we could try it next time?” “Sure!” I responded.
Secretly, I thought that the next time, I would just make it easy for her and fix the problem myself. I said, “But next time, you tell me three of your favorite songs, and we will sing them. Then you won’t even have to hold the book or see the words at all!” With each try, this lady whom I sat beside, had come up with a different approach.
Later in the week, I have thought of my girls and their accomplishments, great and small. They together and independently exhibit more determination than most people that I know. When obstacles present themselves to my girls, they just hurdle over them, or they too recalculate their path. They seldom give up on accomplishing their objective. The “unknown” is but another adventure for them. The “unheard of” is just not spoken by them yet!!!
I have been privy to witness the excitement and participate in their adventures. Truly, I have seen them seize moments that would paralyze most. Against all odds—literally and figuratively—they have loaded minivans with furniture that others said would not fit, while smiling as they drove away. They have staked in party tents in windstorms that others said should be enough to cancel the party.
They ride the momentum of the challenge and call it an adventure. More times than not, I have actually felt them take real pleasure in the CHALLENGE itself. What an accomplishment!!!!
Having thought about this all week and about my sweet friend in the nursing home, I don’t think I am going to let her know that I have three of her favorite songs prearranged and ready to sing. For I have come to understand that she, like my girls, “light up” when another idea or possible solution comes to her. Next month, we will just figure out how to hold her book, her magnifying glass, adjust her glasses, and sit where the lighting is better. If that doesn't work… then we will sing her songs. I can’t wait to see what the next idea or adventure will be… Blessings, Mimi (AKA Anne)
2 Corinthians 8:2, “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.”