Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A picture of peace

There once was a King who offered a prize to any artist who would paint the best picture of peace.

Many artists tried. 

The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. 

The lake was a perfect mirror, for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. 

Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. 

All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains too. 

But these were rugged and bare. 

Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightening played. 

Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. 

This did not look peaceful at all. 

But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. 

In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. 

There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest... perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize?

The King chose the second picture. 

Do you know why? 

"Because," explained the King, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. 

Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. 

That is the real meaning of peace."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The man in a glass box

I always liked Bob Perks' words. And this particular article is no exception.

The man in a glass box
Bob Perks
The only limits you have are in your mind. That's because we all live in glass boxes. We can clearly see everything around us, but we go no further than our own perceived limitations. The walls are strengthened by ideals we hold to be true.  They begin with the words "I am" and get taller and stronger the more we repeat them.

I am...
Too tall
Too short
Too fat
Too thin
Too young
Too old
Too black
Too white
Too male
Too female
Too (fill in your own word here)

They are, in general, positive words with positive attributes.

Still the world twists and turns them around to be negative and limited.  Many of us accept them as such.

There we stand in the glass boxes looking out at the world longing to be more, do more and have more.  We walk to the perceived wall and stop because we see ourselves as the world sees us.

I watched two doves in my yard one Spring trying desperately to get to my small pond for a drink.  I had temporarily placed a plastic fence between the pond and the bird feeders.

In the Spring the area turns muddy and my three dogs use that area as a path before coming into the house.  The fence stops them and they come down across the deck.

The two doves had been getting their fill on the ground around the feeder and then began walking toward the pond. They stopped at the fence.

They walked back and forth many times trying to figure a way to get to the pond.

I watched for the longest time until I couldn't take it any more.

I finally yelled, "Fly!"  They did.  They flew away.

What was ovbvious to me was that they had the ability to reach the pond if they just flew over the fence.  All they could see was the obstacle. That was their glass box.

It's hard to imagine sometimes that any of us would see limitations to happiness, joy, peace, hope and even prosperity. We are surrounded by it. Still, we see others breaking the walls of the glass boxes but we cannot see ourselves doing it. You will hear plenty of excuses as we try to reason why they could do such things but we can't. We then remain in our self created glass box.

So, what glass box are you living in?  What limitations have you set that are holding you back?

Imagine for a moment that, like me watching the doves, God is standing somewhere watching you.

In your prayers tonight ask God to help you break down those walls. Then don't be surprised if in the morning you are startled when you
hear someone scream..."FLY!"

I know you know this song. Listen and read the words again...for the first time!"I believe in you!"