Tuesday, August 22, 2017

“Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing you're worthy of the trip.” — John Fears

              I’ve written before about how difficult it is for me to think that I’m really accomplishing anything here.  It’s perhaps a universal truism that most of us don’t think much of our accomplishments—or we think way too much of them.  Seriously, don’t you discount and downgrade your own participation in making this world a better place?  Don’t you look to those in the news, the celebrities, and the very rich who are building hospitals, or creating new and fantastic technologies as the ones who are really changing the world?  We never think that the little things that we do ever amount to much.  We are WRONG!  It is exactly because of all the little things that each of us do almost every day that the world is changing because we are changing hearts.  Mother Teresa says, “Kind words can be short and kind deeds can be but a moment, but their echoes are truly endless.”  We simply cannot be the best judges of how the little things we do change the world because when we drop a pebble into a lake, we never see the ripples reach the far shore.  When we plant a tiny seed (I think Jesus referred to a mustard seed as an example), we aren’t around when the tree reaches maturity and has yielded fruit that has fed the hungry and shade for those hurting from too much sun.  We drop the pebble, plant the tiny seed and go on because we have much to do: “Promises to keep, and miles to go before [we] sleep.”  How can you put a value on a smile, a kind word, or really listening to someone?  About all I do these days is write this blog every day, but I get feedback on that.  I can see how many read it, how many “like” it, how many comment on it, and how many send me emails relating to it.  It comes with a report card of sorts.  The blog only resembles a pebble or a seed when I don’t know who’s read it or who’s had it change his or her life.  I suspect that happens, but I never really know.                   Recently, I had a rather serious bout of malaria (that was an understatement) that left me wondering if I wanted to keep going, since I was doing so little here.  But a little “God thing” happened when my son John posted on my affordable watch forum that I was very sick, wouldn’t be posting, and could use prayers.  Now, unlike Facebook, my watch forum isn’t full of friends or even people who use their real names or post pictures of themselves.  Most just post a picture of the watch they are wearing that day—and that’s it, around a hundred every day from all over the world.  It’s not a community of friends, but as many of us have been posting for many years, we kind of know those who post a lot, but not in any kind of intimate way.  When I posted after I had begun to feel better again, one of the members posted that I should go back and read the daily posts from the four days I was down and suffering.  I did.  I don’t reprint these to make me look good (okay, maybe a little) but to make you think about those who would write similar things about you.  Here are some examples of the many posts that touched me, humbled me, and reminded me that others can see the ripples in the pond and the growing trees left in my wake.  One of these writers is an observant Jew, others are atheists, and one actually hates church people, but still they wrote these posts not knowing if I would ever see them.
                         Hoping--praying the Bishop makes a speedy recovery. He's thoughtful, patient and generous--really a remarkable, multifaceted fellow.
                         Sending best thoughts to Askofu. With so much crap going on in this world, his reminder to practice random acts of kindness is conspicuous in its absence today.
                        Have a great and peaceful weekend. Hug your family members and tell them you love them. Do something positive to make the world a better place. Oh, just follow what the Bishop says and we will all be the better for it.  NOTE:  Posted this before reading the news about the Bishop. Wishing him a rapid and complete recovery.
                        Charles there is so much love and respect for you here. All of us here on the forum are praying for you. Even those who don't pray. 
                         Looking for Askofu’s daily post(s) is the sole reason I visit this site some days. Always upbeat and cheerful. He usually makes my day a little better each time.
                         Then this came from someone I had never heard from before in the form of a personal message (like the Message on Facebook).
                          Like most of the other forum members, I enjoy your posts immensely and am often inspired by your words as much as the pictures of your watches. Know that many people are praying for your full recovery. What you are doing is a valuable service to men and to God.
                         These sentiments came from people who have never met me, never heard me speak, and only know me from my posting pictures of different watches every day, sometimes with pictures of the animals here, sometimes pictures of the work we’re doing, and almost always ending with me asking the other members to be kind.  It is rare that we ever hear or know how our smiles, kind acts, or kind words touch others.  The message here is one from Christ that He probably never said in so many words but I am sure He meant:  “Keep being the light in others’ darkness.  Do the little things and leave the big things to me.”  Don’t you think that’s a pretty accurate interpretation of what Christ wants of us?
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