Unto us a child is born,
Not just one, but many.
Following in steps divine.
In innocence and eyes ashine.
Within this earthly realm align
These blessed lambs.
Each one a touch of Heavens grace
The path from which we’ve gone astray
Endeavour to retrace.
Till sullied so by acrid fumes
Pollution of our strife
They yield at last their childhood faith
And enter into “life”.
Only one did keep the faith,
Emerged at last unscathed
From fear and darkness, hate and lust
And to us all proclaimed.
“To enter in become a child
Be born upon this day
And follow me both one and all
I came to show the way.”
I find it hard to explain that statement. I can only say I have found it to be true.
I was blessed with a sound brain that loved to learn, to find how things worked, to find solutions. I was also gifted with a large measure of creativity, both artistically speaking and being able to “think outside the box”. Add to this the blessing of parents high on the benevolence and integrity scale and it’s no wonder I was always a seeker of truth. I questioned everything, science, politics, religion, social interaction, morals, everything!
Yet I found in spite of intensive study “truths” never came by analyzing, they were never the product of my endless thinking, rather they were imbibed, suddenly, effortlessly, in all their intrinsic glory, recognizable in their simplicity as if I’d once known and rediscovered them – absolute.
I suspect a child may stumble across truth more easily than a learned professor, our minds may confirm, but they often get in the way of finding.
If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are that you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.
In 1994, two American volunteers answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach Bible-based morals and ethics classes in several schools and institutions, including a home for about 100 orphaned, abandoned, or abused children.
Shortly before Christmas, the volunteers told the children at the home the story of the first Christmas—a story that most of them had never heard before. The children listened in rapt amazement as Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, found no room in the inn, and ended up taking refuge in a stable, where Mary gave birth to baby Jesus and laid Him to sleep in a manger.
Afterwards the volunteers organized an art project. They gave each of the children a small piece of cardboard to make a manger, part of a yellow napkin to cut up for straw, a piece of beige felt from which to cut baby Jesus, and a scrap of fabric to wrap Him in. As the children assembled their mangers, the volunteers moved around the room, interacting with the children and offering a little help where needed.
When one of the volunteers came to six-year-old Misha, she found that he had already finished his project. But as she looked closer, she was surprised to see two babies in his manger. When she asked him about this, Misha crossed his arms, knit his brow, and began explaining very seriously. For such a young boy who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related it all quite accurately, until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. Then he started to ad lib.
“Baby Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told Him I have no mama and no papa, so I don’t have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with Him. But I told Him I couldn’t, because I didn’t have a gift to give Him like everybody else. But I wanted to stay with Jesus very much, so I thought about what I could maybe use for a gift. I asked Jesus, ‘If I keep You warm, will that be a good enough gift?’ And Jesus told me, ‘If you keep Me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave Me.’ So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and said I could stay with Him for always.”
As little Misha finished his story, tears filled his eyes and splashed down his cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, he dropped his head to the table and sobbed. Misha had found Someone who would never abandon or abuse him, Someone who would stay with him “for always.”1—Author unknown
Opening his office window Gibson peered down at the teeming mass below. Bedlam! Cars jockeyed for places, taxis honked impatiently, and multitudes thronged the pavements surging home.
Some might think he had it good. At least he had a job, a good income. He knew better. There was nothing left, nothing to strive for, since Leslie left he’d been hitting the bottle but that had just made it worse. His investments had failed; his life as he saw it was on the rocks. Everything he’d strived for all these years had turned to ashes. He hated himself, what he had become. He didn’t blame Leslie, not really, she’d had enough.
He took another swig of the whiskey concealed in his desk draw, mounted the chair and straddled the window frame. He was oddly cautious as he lowered himself onto the ledge. Far below no one noticed the lone figure standing aloft. Wind swept by, oddly refreshing. A bird flew in graceful arcs. he was reminded of his boyhood, where had it all gone so wrong? He’d had so many dreams back then, now all was shattered by the reality of existence.
He was startled by a rattle of the window pane, a lined old face looking up at him. The cleaner had seen the window left open…
What caused Lem to glance out before closing the window he didn’t know, perhaps it was the sunlit clouds, perhaps the bird song, but what he saw there froze his breath. Mr. Gibson stood pressed to the wall his face waxen. Was he about to jump?
“Mr. Gibsen, what are you doing? Come in. Please come in!” The face looked up in confusion and Gibson felt a pang of remorse that Lem should witness this. His voice lashed out angrily.
“You don’t know. You don’t know just how much I hate my life. It hurts too much! I don’t want it any more!”
Lem stood gawking; a birth defect had left him simpleminded. He didn’t have the skills for this kind of stuff.
“If I has something I don’t want no more, I gives it away sir, maybe someone else wants it.” Lem looked on incredulously as Mr. Gibson gazed at him in astonishment.
“If I don’t want something I give it away,” somehow the empty void around him, the bird careering through the sky lent meaning to the statement. Slowly he began to edge his was back through the window helped by the puzzled Lem.
“You ain’t gonna jump then Mr. Gibson?”
A strange smile lit Gibson’s face, “ No Lem you’re right. If you don’t want something you give it away.”
Rebooting his computer he began a search, there must be a volunteer organisation that could use his engineering skills…
As I get older I find I need to pace myself, I see so many needs in the world around me I always want to do more, yet now my kids are grown and flown the nest I find different limitations. My body kicks in and reminds me that whereas I may feel 21 in spirit I’m expecting a bit much of it after 63 years of pretty intense wear and tear. One useful thing I’ve learned is to take time to “aim straight” if you have less energy to call on you have to make it count!
As a long term teacher I found the key was always to digest the material myself first and bring it down to the simplest terms. To teach concept rather than method (grasp the concept and the rest will follow.)
I’ve found that in my life too “truths” are always simple. As the modern world gets increasingly complex simple truths (like you reap what you sow, money can’t buy real love etc.) can tend to get buried under mounds of in put both good and bad.
I feel a need to search them out again from time to time, dust them off and put them again in a place of prominence. I wonder for this generation will they be able to find and discern the real gems of life amidst so much overwhelming intellectual and media debris? I hope so for they make such difference to the quality of life.