Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nature's Ordeal Crippled by Kindness...

     A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. After a few days a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had got as far as it could, and it could go no further.

     So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

     Neither happened ! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

     Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If we went through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we have been. We would never fly ! Life becomes wonderful and more fruitful when it is full of difficulties.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Present...

     Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing the scenes and sounds of the world outside.

     The man in the other bed began to live, for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

     As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

     As soons as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up to take his first look at the world outside. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate to describe such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to make you happy."

     The richest person in the world is one who knows how to make each moment happy for the self and others. Today is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Precious Possessions...

     A father was very annoyed with his five year old daughter for wasting money on gold wrapping paper. She was wrapping a gift for her father to place under the Christmas Tree. On Christmas eve, when her father unwrapped the gift and opened the box inside, he found that there was nothing inside the box. It was empty. He screamed at her for really wasting the expensive wrapping and for gifting him an empty box. But she very sadly replied that the box wasn't empty and that she blew several kisses into the box especially for her father. Hearing her say this, his heart went out to her and his eyes filled up with tears, he felt hurt and annoyed with himself for shouting at his daughter. All she wanted to show her father was her love and affection for him.

     In the very real sense, each one of us as humans have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends. There are no more precious possessions anyone could hold. So hold on to these precious possessions and never let go. These are those which touch your heart directly, telling you that you are loved and are Special, if not, Very Special to someone always.