Run the race.

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Life is all a journey as you stumble through the years,
Sometimes through strife and battle and often lonely tears.
Sometimes through days of sunshine, when the soul within you glows
Sometimes in days of certainty, you know the way to go.
Sometimes in bleak confusion, unknowing steps you trace,
But all in all you’ll get there. You too will win the race.
Not one against the other, in striving to compete,
All pushing on and shoving, thrusting others from their feet.
But hand in hand beguiling, each happy golden hour,
The weak and tired enticing to draw upon your power.
Till that gate arriving, when journey meets its end,
You’ll be a man, my brother, a fortress and a friend.

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beating the air.

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A swan lifts from the water

Wings bat feverishly at the air

The body, heavy, resists

Weighing it down,

Creating drag.

Yet it fights

Believing it is destined to fly once more.

It is not glorious and graceful, as is its descent onto the water.

Dignity laid aside

Snow white plumes sullied in spray

It battles opposing currents to gain lift.

So is life.

If you wish to soar

You must first battle, undignified, unwieldly

Caring nought for the observer.

Those bound to the land do not understand

Lacking faith for the battle they look on

Surprised when finally you glide upward

Wings aching but heart swelling

Caught at last in the updraft.

Catch the wind.

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I’ve learnt so much about life while sailing. Like life there is always a “prevailing wind” or “current”. You can’t change that, but if it happens to be contrary to where you want to go, you can still use it by tacking (taking a zig zag course to your objective). You can “lose the sails” (reducing the pull of the wind) and continue to hold the tiller the way you want to go, (which generally works) but sometimes you just have to “go with it”. You seemingly give in to the wind and circle round coming back at it with that extra bit of speed to help make the turn. You have to learn to use it, not let it use you. Steadfastly maintain your direction but be prepared to give in and go full circle if needed. Just be determined to get there no matter how long it takes, how many zigs and how many zags.

Use it but don’t let it overwhelm you or push you where you don’t want to go, or get you stuck in the reeds. If you wave wildly a “power boat” will usually eventually come along and pull you out (an awesome fellow human or God himself) but better not to go there if you can avoid it – it may take a while!

Embrace the wind, enjoy the ride, feel exhilarated, be prepared to adapt to it, but keep your true course with determination. Happy life sailing!

My own personal sunrise.

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I opened my curtains early this morning to my own personal sunrise. Not through the window, as one would expect, but on the wall opposite. My grandfather’s old handmade matchstick church and the bonsai tree were surrounded by a brilliant, flaming glow of red and orange light, just as if the sun were rising behind them.

A large tree obstructs my view of the sunrise (at least till autumn comes) but the sun shining through a tiny gap had created the glorious vision above my book shelf.

How like life, while we cannot yet see the full beauty of the eternal realities they are sometimes reflected in mundane objects (like my wall) and for a moment we embrace their beauty, but are unable to effectively pass it on to others. My photographic skills couldn’t capture the colour, due to the dim light (with flash no colour/ without flash just black). I can only offer a meager description which cannot catch its glory. Even so some things in life can only be shared by those who have also glimpsed them.

It’s the little things that make life wonderful.

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I woke delighted this morning to see lights dancing through my curtain (the sun rises behind a large tree outside my window). It reminded me of the beauty and diversity of creation, the small things God incorporates to make our lives more beautiful and joyous.

For me the infinite diversity and beauty of creation and our ability to appreciate it are some of the greatest proofs of his existence. Evolution cannot explain our appreciation of beauty. It has no practical purpose in our survival, but I’m so glad of its enrichment.