Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Matthew 6:27 And be assured, I am with you always, even to the end of time.
The first quarter of a new year is a busy time for us, a time of reflection and rededication, of list making and determining what has been accomplished and what needs to be accomplished in the coming months. It can be a delicate time.
The 40 days of Lent stand between us and the joys of Easter. Advent and the Christmas Season are long gone and we look forward to weeks of a late midwinter, that season Christina Rossetti called bleak and hard as iron.
Bills and taxes a wait our attention. Another year has slipped by and not every goal has been achieved.
We’re another year older and, as Tennessee Ernie used to intone, possibly deeper in debt. What should we give up? What should we take on? How can we make our lives most beneficial for ourselves and for others?
We can choose to look to the future positively, confident that challenges will be met, that all will be done that needs to be done. Or, wrongfully feeling overwhelmed and alone, mindful that some problems resist our choice of solution, we can expect defeat and failure.
A popular song lyric says it well: Some days are diamonds, Some days are coal.
When my coal days hit, I recall prayers from two very different men, men who faced trials and tribulations every bit as serious as any I am likely to face.
And they faced those trials with full confidence and faith that they were by no means alone and that they had every reason to expect success.
The first prayer is that of Sir Jacob Astley, a Royalist Officer in the English Civil War: O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget Thee, do not forget me.
The second is that fabulous prayer of Reinhold Niebuhr:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.
Lent truly is a time of reflection and dedication for all of us. We are not alone.
Easter is at hand. Be of good cheer.
Thanks be to God.
Dear Wife in early morn was off to East Lansing, MSU, soccer clinic, with Dear Daughter and Dear Granddaughters.
I was off to Church in AM and then home and then to Romeo with Dear Sophie for an imoportant four week review on how her arthritis is coming along after a series of injections.
And then home after dark for cocktails and catchup with Dear Wife who leaves for Fla Tuesday.
Two weeks in Fla.
I remain at The Study, holding the fort.
National and international affairs continue on w/o our comments.
Visited a superb Faberge exhibit which came to town. Four hours was not too long to spend viewing and attending lecture.
Read a journal [with pictures] documenting hiking along Hadrian’s Wall in the north high country of England. Came across a collection of pictures of 1930’s foggy London. Awoke this morning to a winter day of thick fog and rain.
Wrote the above a few weeks ago...disappointments over recent events in our world and country loomed large...
A month and some more have passed....
Some accommodation is in order.
Time sometimes does diminish passionate feelings.
Perhaps such as the above and not the futilities happening in diplomacy and national politics should occupy a few lines now and then.
Dear Wife is spending a day at the spa.
Dear Sophie and I have The Study to ourselves.
And yes, the house is quiet.
Since the last election, some home improvement decisions and actions have been made and taken and the TV has been removed from the dining/kitchen area. Radio remains, but its voice is muted.
The talking heads intrude less forcefully, less often, less disturbingly.
TVs remain in library and family room….but my goodness, distractions are minimized.
We think less of the disappointments of the day.
And so, at this moment I occupy a work room newly brought from disorder into some degree of order and find it desirable, even important to report a thought or two on this Dear Site, after over two months of expressing thoughts and such to people across occupied tables.
In the last few days a number of influences have come to bear, simultaneously:
Visited a superb Faberge exhibit which came to town. Four hours was not too long to spend viewing and attending lecture. Read a journal [with pictures] documenting hiking along Hadrian’s Wall in the north high country of England. Came across a collection of pictures of 1930’s foggy London. Awoke this morning to a winter day of thick fog and rain.
Now, could any four developments be more closely related?
Any one of them could occupy pleasant discussions across an occupied table or fill a page on an empty table.
Right now ‘tis fun writing about their confluence here prior to speaking about them tonight.
Perhaps that is the important thing…to be able to do both.
Finally, I am recalling that fifty years ago this at the time young grad student found that researching threats against Queen Elizabeth I was a relief from worrying about WW III and missile crises.
It is occurring to me more forcefully these days that such distractions as the four listed above might be a similar way to reduce the depression of the problems facing our people and the world in 2013.
Such will make good fodder for discussion tonight at the pub.
We’re retired, not expired…and there is no deadline to produce for this site….and so we talk with friends and family; read; watch; debate with neighbors; put up yard signs; attend church and do various modest outreach projects….and do not turn to this site to share a thought or two…with probably no one.
We have a note somewhere in our work room that we write for writing’s sake…that it does not matter if there is no interrelation…interaction….dare I say….intercourse [sorry]….platonic, of course…..
But it does matter after a while. It is more fun…easier…to debate…present…argue…when someone sits across the smoke-filled room and the ice cubes clink merrily in the rocks glasses.
And deadlines do help. God knows.
Too bad, but there it is.
I sit for a moment at this site now because I am between tasks and there is a moment of opportunity….
It is still early in the cocktail hour and thoughts have not become foggy….
So, as the pace of life quickens at The Study….and as no dialogue is possible at this site…….it does not really deserve an audience….so little is being lodged here….we at The Study will ,I guess, carry on our modest harangues over the fence as it were….with living, breathing people…..not writing to the ether [?].
I have found it a real impediment to have no deadline and no one to talk to on these pages…..
If I can get past this/these impediments…..more posts will appear…..maybe.
In the meantime, know that our President is a liar, big time. The Congress is disfunctional. Our national security is increasingly being challenged and threatened.
And half the country thinks he is just the greatest leader of all time.
A country gets what it deserves. An ignorant citizenry is getting a very second-rate leader. Third rate.
Vote very carefully this November.
Watch the debates….think about the big picture..
As Churchill once said, the United States eventually does the right thing, after it has done all the wrong things.
The nation's future requires a thinking electorate.