20
Nov

Adages That Have Proven True Now That I’m Decrepit…

rowing

Book Club MembersFriday is the day! Are you ready to discuss Undaunted?

Warning: You might want to get your favorite beverage first!

    1. “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” This is a favorite saying of my eldest child, who has endured 7 painful surgeries due to sports injuries. However, the older I get, the more I realize that this saying could be applied to our internal hurts and sorrows. If we embrace that pain and walk through it, we do become stronger individuals, capable of brave things we never thought we could endure before the pain arrived.
    2. “The harder one works, the luckier one gets.” When I was a young married woman with few financial resources, I’m not sure the hubby and I liked this one, but it has proven to be true, particularly for my workaholic hubby. What he may fail to realize is that in that hard work, he has gone from an impulsive, brash upstart to someone who now garners a lot of respect from his colleagues. Is the brash guy still there, occasionally? Yes, but only when brashness will make everyone more fortunate.
    3. “The best thing you can do for your children? Love your spouse.” We forgot this one when we were deeply in the throes of the expensive proposition of raising three bold children. Babysitters were expensive and even more so for our motley crew (No, not the band.) and thus, we put weekly dates on the back burner. Our marriage started falling apart in the process. But, once we both acknowledged that we weren’t making enough time for each other, we found ways to incorporate that date into our very tiny budget. We got creative about finding free things to do with each other. And the result? I am more in love with my man than I was on the day I said, “I do.” And the kids? They now value a marriage in which couples fight…to stay together.
    4. “Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the stream, Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream.” Notice it doesn’t say row someone else’s boat! And if you have ever rowed a boat, you know what hard work that really is! It takes a coordinated effort of a paddle that often seems to have a mind of its own. It takes muscles that are often painfully developed. It takes determination even when those muscles hurt, even if rowing downstream!  And yet this taxing activity we are asked to do gently. Why? Because if you row your boat violently, you may crash into something, like someone else’s boat and endanger others in the process. If you are fortunate only to endanger yourself, that forces someone else to row your boat, at the very minimum or destroys “the boat”! Even though rowing a boat gently is often hard work, this childhood song reminds us to do it “merrily.” Notice that rowing is only repeated 3 times, while merrily is repeated 4 times! (And yes, this is probably because of the imposition of a song on this little saying, but it’s still rather interesting to me!) One can work one’s rear end off, but if we angrily do it or fearfully do it, we are going to tire much more quickly than if we endeavor to “find the silver lining” and do it merrily. We get farther by being joyful about our hard work. And last but certainly not least, life is but a dream in several ways. If we row our boats gently and merrily, we will probably create, in time, a dreamy life, but it also reminds me that this life is temporary—it’s the “Matrix” (Thank you, Keanu Reeves.) and our real life is in Heaven with God. Thus, it’s okay if I don’t learn these lessons the first time, because God’s got my next life all lined up for me and it truly will be a dreamy life.
    5. “Love your neighbor.” Even though God is a God of judgment and mercy, note that Jesus does not say, “Love and judge your neighbor.” This is difficult for parents to remember, because in loving our children as we should, we often have to judge our children’s behavior—it’s our job! And if one has trained to be a counselor as I have, the insurance agency and even the psychology field to a degree, requires us to “categorize people” into “disorders.” Thus, because I have played both roles, I find myself judging people a lot. But, God only asks us to love people and let Him do the judging. Does loving someone mean that I always agree with them or their choices? Nope. Does it mean that when they hurt me it doesn’t “OUCH!”? Nope. Does it mean that I condone their treatment of me when hurting me? Nope. It just means I choose to regard them as well as I would like to be regarded—that Golden Rule thing. I can still respect someone’s dignity even if I don’t agree with them. I can still pray for things to be okay with them. I can still reach out and show that person kindness. In praying for that person effectively, I also find I have to put myself in their shoes. Usually, in praying for them, I find that it’s really tough to be in their shoes, and their choices (even the ones that hurt me) make a little more sense. And thus, I can find the beginnings of love and respect for that person. Since Jesus also told us our neighbor may be someone from another country, a place I’ve never visited or experienced, just loving people, without judgment, is a very huge task. If I’m loving people as I should, then I really don’t have time to judge people! Thankfully, if others also love their neighbors, then we eventually get around to loving everyone and helping them succeed in becoming people who “row their own boat.”

 

What adages seem to be oh, so true for you? Comment below.

Friday’s Posts: Slow Reader Friday & the January 2014 MIP Book Club Selection!

You may also like:  The Odd Days of November and A Real Scare

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 at 10:50 am and is filed under Lessons Learned. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

leave a comment