Monday, 9 September 2013
He would take me along to the post office. Quite a drab place filled with drab and sombre looking people waiting in long drab queues helped by weary tellers with solemn faces behind dusty glass panes. He was on a mission. We were agents with an agenda. His mission was not only to collect a parcel or buy stamps or send off a letter, no, it was to see if he could turn somebody's frown into a smile, even if it was for five minutes. While waiting we would take guesses as to which one of the tellers would be the one to help us, then he would describe the type of day she/he might be having that might have put the glum look upon the person's face. He would tell me to watch closely at the transformation that woulfd take place. He told me that a real smile would always start in the eyes first.
It always filled me with wonder to see how he would work his magic and invariably, by the time my dad finished his transactions, the teller would be laughing, a drab day transformed. My dad believed in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you would like somebody to give you a smile, give them one first. It has become a principle my sister and I have lived our lives by and we have passed this on to our children as well. It not only works its magic in other peoples' lives but in out own too. I am all the richer for it. I get the same thrill today as I did as a little girl, to see how a smile creeps out from a serious face and spreads all over the person's face, and then to see, when I walk away, how that smile gets passed onto the next cusomer in line. It is like gazing at a butterfly. One cannot look at a butterfly without being touched by its beauty, without a feeling of delight spreading through ones essence.
This week I encourage you to go out and do unto others how you wish they would do to you, whatever that might be. Maybe it is to forgive a long time friend, maybe it is to invite somebody for a cup of coffee, or paying their parking meter? Whatever it is, just imagine that you are doing it for yourself and do it. At the very least you would leave some astounded people behind!!
Remember this: no smile, no kind word or tender touch is ever wasted. It always returns back to you with interest.
If you flutter by here, please share with us what it is you have done to somebody that you would have them do unto you. I would love to hear your story!!!
Wednesday, 4 September 2013
It is a glorious spring day with just a bite of winter still nipping at my heels just to remind me to be grateful for the new season with its warming weather. The birds are twittering and flying everywhere, basking in the sunlight. Its as if I am stepping out of a state of hibernation into a place of wonder. I want to get my hands dirty with soil, and plant bright flowers everywhere (not that I would know what I am doing!!). I feel like dancing in the rain ( of which we have not seen any yet!) so the next best thing would be the shower!!
I remember how much I loved playing in the rain as a child, and it is actually so sad that as adults we are so worried about our hairdo, catching a cold or what the neighbours would say that the rain passes us by! It is one of the little joys of life that are totally free and there for everyone to enjoy! So many things in life we pass up for these silly reasons, like singing at the top of our lungs or dancing with total abandon, so scared somebody would play adjudicator and send us packing off the stage.
When last did you dance in the rain, or sing to the beat of your favourite artist? When last did you play air guitar or just spontaneously hugged somebody? When last did you do something totally silly, not caring what the world might say? So what if they laugh? At least you did something to momentarily remove that sour look from their faces!
I invite, encourage, no- I dare you!! Go out today, sing, dance, laugh to your hearts content, make somebody smile, today!!! Be as surprizing as the sight of butterflies raining down would be!
Please share with us what you did today, or this week to make somebody smile!! I am looking forward to your comment.
Monday, 2 September 2013
We all know that moment. That instant when a thought comes into our mind, a desire. That apple looks so delicious, so ready for the picking. But dare we......? Should we......? That moment when we are faced with a....
Life is made up out of a never ending series of choices. We all remember those "Write-Your-Own-Adventure" books, where you read to the end of the page and then have to make a choice. That choice then sends us to another page where a new choice awaits. However, life is unfortunately not a book where you get a "Do-Over" card.
Eric Klinger did a study at the University of Minnesota where he determined that the average person is faced daily with between 300 and 17 000 decisions!! Unbelievable. Most of these decisions we are not even aware of. However, there is no avoiding them.
It was exactly such a decision Eve was faced with that day in Eden. Yes, I know, we all think to ourselves that if it were me, I would have acted differently. I would have been so much wiser. I wonder? To her it was not so black and white. It was not a mere choice of eating that fruit or declining. It entailed far more than that. It looked so enticing, full of promise and endless possibilities. Knowledge beckoned, enlightenment was offered. The thought of becoming like God was overwhelming. After all, what would be so bad about eating the fruit of that beautiful tree. It looked so innocent. Standing there, she felt entitled to eat the fruit.
The decision was made; she reached out, plucked the fruit and ate, thus setting in motion an unstoppable chain of events that determined her destiny, and the destiny of mankind.....
Nothing has changed. We too, often stand in front of the proverbial tree with its enticing fruit, and have to make a decision. A choice that will affect our destiny. What will we choose?
It is at that moment that we have to take a step back and carefully weigh the options. We have to stay calm, and very importantly, not make any hasty decisions. We have to weigh the pros and cons, collect all the data, compute what the cost, the consequences would be. We have to seek advice and pray that God might show us the way.
Then we have to wait. Patience. We have to analyze our feelings and face our worries and fears.
Many people make choices without stopping and taking all these things into consideration. They rush in where angels fear to tread. However, other people again rethink a choice for so long that they end up missing the opportunity. They analyze it to death and end up not making a decision at all! However in that lies the catch - NOT making a decision IS making one!
Taking action, making a choice is often a fine balance between impulse and academic research. We have to consider all the facts and consequences, but we also have to learn to listen to our gut feelings, our instincts.
Could Eve have done this, I wonder? Did she act on impulse, or did she carefully consider her options? Would the outcome have been different? I think Eve was lost before she even took that fruit. She was fooled. She did not know her enemy or his intentions, but she also did not know her Creator well. If she did, she would have known that God knows what is best for us, He has no agendas to harm us, His love for us is pure. The enemy on the other hand, is crafty. His intentions are always for us to disappoint the Lord; he will always try to sway us towards his way of thinking. He comes to us with half truths, in the guise of sincerity. His tongue is smooth, ready to entice us with pretty promises.
We, as Christians, are very fortunate, because we have a gauge by which to judge our choices. We have a plumb line. That plumb line is the Word of God. Grey situations take on greater clarity once we measure it against the Word of God; it becomes more black/white. In fact, it is often when we make decisions without consulting the Word that we end up taking the wrong course of action.
Are you faced with a choice today? Are you feeling indecisive? Overwhelmed? Then I would like to encourage you to PUSH - Pray Until Something Happens.