Everyone That Asks,
I asked for strength that I might achieve;
He made me weak that I might obey.
I asked for health that I might do great things;
He gave me grace that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
He gave me poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of others;
He gave me weakness that I might feel a need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
He gave me life that I might enjoy all things.
I received nothing I had asked for;
He gave me all that I had hoped for.
God hath not promised
Skies always blue,
All our lives through;
God hath not promised
Sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow,
Peace without pain.
But God hath promised
Strength for the day,
Rest for the labor,
Light for the way,
Grace for the trials,
Help from above,
- Annie Johnson Flint, 1862-1932
One Almost Might
Wouldn?t you say,
Wouldn?t you say: one day,
With a little more time or a little more patience, one might
Disentangle for separate, deliberate, slow delight
One of the moment?s hundred strands, unfray
Beginnings from endings, this from that, survey
Say a square inch of the ground one stands on, touch
Part of oneself or a leaf or a sound (not clutch
Or cuff or bruise but touch with finger-tip, ear-
Tip, eyetip, creeping near yet not too near);
Might take up life and lay it on one?s palm
And, encircling it in closeness, warmth and calm,
Let it lie still, then stir smooth-softly, and
Tendril by tendril unfold, there on one?s hand ?
One might examine eternity?s cross-section
For a second, with slightly more patience, more time for reflection?
I Asked God
I asked God to send me His friends.
He sent you.
I asked God to take away my pain.
God said, No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give up.
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No. His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.
I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No. Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn't granted it is earned.
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No. I give you blessings, happiness is up to you.
I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.
I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No. You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.
I asked God to help me LOVE others as much as He loves me.
God said ... Ahhh, finally! You have the idea.
It doesn?t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart?s longing.
It doesn?t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn?t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life?s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn?t interest me if the story you are telling me
I want to know if you can
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn?t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn?t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
and not shrink back.
It doesn?t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.
? Oriah Mountain Dreamer, from the book The Invitation
You see THAT girl, yeah her.
She seems so invincible right.
but just touch her & she'll flinch.
She has secrets & she trusts no one.
she's the perfect example of betrayal.
cause everyone she trusted, broke her
The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost (1874?1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I?
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!