In spite of striving to keep from being overwhelmed by the great waves of grief that come each day, I still find encouragement at almost every turn.
Bill and I use to have a standing joke about how easily we were encouraged. We always found encouragement in the most simple of things and some of the most unlikely places. But it kept us going in difficult times.
For example, I was watching an old Star Trek – the Next Generation as I ate my dinner the other night and one of the main characters spoke the words to another warrior that can indeed apply to all of us when we are doing battle with any problem or difficulty — no matter how simple or how grave.
He said “The true test of a warrior is not without, but within.
It is here (he said, with his fist clinched over his chest) that we have to meet the challenge.”
Pogo (in the cartoon strip) summed it up a bit more humorously, but profoundly when he said, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”
Great accomplishments in life, no matter what area of life, are not without effort. Sometimes the greatest effort is in battling ourselves. That’s sure true with me, especially over the past two years.
Although I haven’t won the war yet, I have won major battles on a day to day basis. (That’s how you win the war.)
It takes some doing to take care of ourselves and to be of value to our families, our friends and our community. We all have much to do if we are to live life to the full and not just take up space.
I was about ready for bed when I happened to pick up a little book of poems I’ve had for many years without looking at it. I found just the right poem to make my point. It’s by Helen Lowrie Marshall.
I hope you will take it to heart and find it as encouraging as I did.
Reach high! The finest things in life
Are on the topmost shelves.
We have to stand on tiptoe—
Stretch our small, self centered selves;
We have to look above our heads
To where the heart can see,
If we would reach that finer life
We’d like our life to be.
Reach high! The best is always kept
Upon life’s topmost shelves,
But not beyond our reach if we
Will reach beyond our selves.
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