Footprints in the Sand

Many times in life we have doubt, lack of faith and we are always tempted to shout and say: “God, where are you? Why are you not helping me!”. I love to share this story with you as it helped me gain more confidence in life:
jesus-umbrellaOne night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord:
“You promised me Lord,¬†that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied: ¬†“The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

origin: Mary Stevenson, 1936

The story of the two water pots

This is yet another classical story that has been circulating around and I would like to share with you:

two-pots
A water bearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house. The cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it
spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer.
“What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house.
Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.
But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.
For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers
to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Moral of the story: Always be grateful even if you don’t see the good things in the bad things immediately. Do not fall in the “compare and despair” trap. Learn about yourself and your qualities.
flower separator
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The boy and the apple tree

In my last trip to Lebanon, a friend of mine gave me a book called “ZeNLP – The Power to Relax” by Murli Menon. I liked the book as it talks about the technique the other teachers and at the same time the book explores different traditions and techniques out there. What I will be sharing in this blog entry and the coming ones are stories that are found in this book. Enjoy the first story.

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The story of the two seeds

Here goes another story about taking part in life, risking and trusting:
Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile soil.
The first seed said, “I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earth’s crust above me … I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring … I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals!”
And so she grew…
The second seed said, “I am afraid. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don’t know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me I may damage my delicate sprouts … what if I let my buds open and a snail tries to eat them? And if I were to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground. No, it is much better for me to wait until it is safe.”
And so she waited…
A yard hen scratching around in the early spring ground for food found the waiting seed and promptly ate it.

Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile soil.The first seed said, “I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earth’s crust above me … I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring … I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals!”And so she grew…The second seed said, “I am afraid. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don’t know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me I may damage my delicate sprouts … what if I let my buds open and a snail tries to eat them? And if I were to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground. No, it is much better for me to wait until it is safe.”And so she waited…A yard hen scratching around in the early spring ground for food found the waiting seed and promptly ate it.

This story reminds of “The Parable of the Talents” (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-28)