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Category Archives: purity

“The tragedy of life is what dies in the hearts and souls of people while they live.”  Albert Einstein

Isn’t that the truth? First of all, think about when you were a child. You had a sense of wonder about everything, because everything was new to you. Children believe in things that adults often don’t, because no one (yet) told them not to. As a child, we are trusting. We will smile at someone that adults would turn away from. We have not yet learned prejudice, judgement, or fear. Children are accepting. They will be a friend to those that the world scorns.

As a child, we are always learning, always asking questions, and always wanting to know more. There is simply not enough time to understand all we want to grasp.

Children have an innocence–a purity that is like freshly fallen snow.  And in that innocence there is such a freedom, to be who they are. The world quickly tries to steal that.

And think about the magic of dreams. As a teenager, we think we can do anything, be anything. The whole world lies before us, and it’s a time when we refuse to face our own mortality, because we feel completely immortal, and invincible. While it may not always be the wisest thing, perhaps it is necessary to see ourselves this way, in order to propel us forward into all that the future holds.

As a young adult, we do not fear extreme sickness or death. That only happens to old people, and we are vital and strong, full of hope and anticipation–ready to conquer the world.

Love is an ethereal thing, a feeling of pure ecstasy and passion. We think it will last forever, and throw all caution to the wind. We are not measured with our feelings, or careful with our show of affection. We simply blurt out “I Love You” every chance we get, and blow kisses on the wind.

So when did all this change? When did we become jaded about life? When did we cease to believe in childhood fantasies? When did we stop smiling at the outcasts of society, and start turning and running away? When did we stop trusting? When did we lose our sense of wonder and amazement about life? Who took our innocence? When did we begin to fear, and start to focus on our limitations?  When did words of love become fewer and fewer? When was passion replaced with indifference? (Which by the way, is truly worse than hatred.) When did we become cautious and guarded? When did we lose our dreams?

There is a time to grow up and mature–a time to put away childish things, but there is never a time to discard our childlikeness. We cannot even enter the Kingdom of Heaven (according to Jesus) unless we become like a little child.  He said “Of such is the Kingdom of God.”

I challenge you today– don’t let these things die, while you still live. Let a sense of awe remain in your heart all the days of your life. Be innocent and pure, without prejudice or arrogance. Don’t lose your childhood sense of freedom.  Be accepting of those that the world rejects. Crave Godly knowledge, for there is always something new to learn right up until your last breath (and even beyond.) Don’t be afraid to express your love, and do it today, because you are not promised tomorrow.

Believe in your inner strength. You can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens you. He tells us that as our days are, so shall our strength be. Always sufficient strength and grace for each new day–whatever we may face. Do not fear, but walk in faith.

Keep dreaming, keep trusting, keep believing! Keep searching for the Truth with all your heart and soul. Refuse to let these things die.  And while the way may be rough at times (as surely it will be) it will never be said that your life was tragic, because you truly lived each day, and knew what it was to be free…

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.”

And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
By:  Kahlil Gibran

I read my friend’s blog tonight, and she was talking about how no one owns their children; they are on loan. And that reminded me once again of Kahlil Gibran’s prose about children. I have always loved this one, and have found it to be true in my life also.

How true it is that our children do not belong to us. We try desperately to give them our thoughts for awhile, and yet they have their own thoughts. (Just as we have ours.) When they reach an age of independence, they are finding their way, and they are torn between needing our help, and needing to be on their own.  I remember that feeling clearly. There was such an excitement about being alive, and I was sure that no one else knew the things that I knew, or felt the things that I felt. I was learning that parents weren’t always right about everything, and some rules seemed worth breaking. I guess we all go through at least a little rebellion. It’s part of finding ourselves. And we certainly develop our own thoughts. We do not want to do it their way…we want to find our own way. Even mistakes are part of the journey.

But parents know what life is truly like, and we (as young people) are just learning-just beginning to see some truths. There is for most of us, little sorrow yet. Therefore, we think that life is one big carnival ride, and the seats are rocking back and forth, and our feet are dangling, and we’re invincible. That’s not to say we don’t feel pain. It’s just that we are not yet intimately connected with it.

As parents, we can house our children’s bodies, but not their souls. He says that their souls live in the house of tomorrow-a place we cannot visit, even in our dreams. Doesn’t that just paint a picture, a melancholy feeling of watching a child walk into the future, and knowing that you cannot hug him on the other side, because it is their future, and not your own? Yes, you can share some of it (often from a distance), but you cannot dance into all of their tomorrows. And there is a sadness when this is realized.

He says you may strive to be like them, but don’t try to make them like you. How can we strive to be like them? I think in innocence, in anticipation, in excitement, in joy, in unconditional love, in singing, in dancing, in trusting, in faith, and in believing.

Jesus said that we could not enter the kingdom of heaven except we become like a little child. A little one with childlike faith, who trusts and believes innocently. A child with no doubt, because all things are possible with children. A child who loves from the heart without prejudice or conditions. The purity of a child is a beautiful thing to behold.

There is a time in your life when you become focused on what they (your children) will achieve, and how they will accomplish it, more than you are focused on your own dreams. It is a time when parents become mentors, advisers, and even friends, but never again reluctant dictators.

You can sense that time is moving on. There are new inventions, new ways of doing things, and the past is in the rear-view mirror, and can only faintly still be seen. Gibran writes, “…for life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday.”

I understand that separation. There were days when I longed to almost drag my mom into my reality, into life as I was living it, but I could not bring her fully with me. And so it goes with all of us.

As parents, we are the bow that sends the living arrows into the future, but it is the Archer (who guides us) that directs the swiftness and the distance of the arrows, to His directed destination. It is His will that we bend to His might, and remain flexible under His leading. For they are truly His children, and not ours. So He asks us to bend with gladness to His will, and to trust Him that the arrows will hit their mark.

For His love is not only for our children, but also for us…

 (To stay on my blog and view this, press the arrow in the middle of the video, but DO NOT press on the screen where they have written “Press Play”. That will take you to YouTube. So just press the arrow as you do on all these, and then wait patiently for her to come out.)

Please view other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html
 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

Truth, honesty, justice, purity, loveliness, goodness-these are things that are in short supply in our world these days. But they are things that my heart cries out for. Truth-what is it really? A quote by someone named Blaise Pascal says, “We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.” Isn’t that the truth? Our heart will always lead us into truth if we will just listen. I sometimes have a knowing deep inside my spirit, and if I go with that truth, I will hardly ever go wrong. Only when I deny that voice, do I wander off the path.

Martin Luther King once said, “…Right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” Yes, I can see that, can’t you? The devil thought he defeated Jesus when he died on the cross, and yet, 3 days later He rose from the dead! (It ain’t over till it’s over!) That is because love and truth will have the final word.

Sometimes there is a great deal of pain and suffering before they do. And sometimes one generation has to die in apparent defeat, so that the next generation can carry the torch to victory. This is certainly true of the Civil Rights movement, which was born from years and years of mistreatment and inequality. It is understandable that the injustice was not righted overnight. It has taken years of struggle (and it still goes on) to achieve something as fundamental as equal rights. But we are getting there, and evil will not prevail. Every generation sees and understands the cruelties of the past, and hopefully, we will continue to move foward toward what is true and right.

So then, what is honesty? Lemuel K. Washburn wrote, “Honesty is never seen sitting astride the fence.” I agree totally. Being “politically correct” is not being honest. Honesty has a choice to make. It must come down on the side of truth always. But for some it is comfortable to sit on the fence and not take a stand. There is no greater traitor in life (to others and themselves) as a man (or woman) who refuses to take a stand. As adults we learn to evade the truth, tell white lies, as well as golden ones, but we rarely tell the truth. I like what Oliver Wendell said, “Pretty much all the honest truth telling in the world is done by children.”

That brings us to justice. In order for someone to be just, they must be impartial. Sadly, there are few impartial people left on earth. People are always weighing what’s in it for them, or what they could lose by standing up for what is right. This results in corrupt judges (and people in general), whose favor can be bargained for. I am beginning to think true justice is a rarity. But I have faith in ultimate justice. That is where so many acts of evil and cruelty will truly be weighed and judged. However, since each of us is without sin, we must also pray for justice, tempered with mercy. Who among us would want to receive what we truly deserve for some of our actions and thoughts?

So what do we say about purity? It means to be undefiled, without pollutants, and free from dust, dirt, or taint. In this world, probably only little children are completely pure and innocent, before life teaches them to hate and hurt others. But to the best of our ability as adults, we should desire purity in our lives. A childlike innocence, a heart of love and compassion for others, a striving to avoid moral and spiritual corruptness. The world  should not dictate to us what is permissible, as the world’s values should not be our own. Even our own conscience can let us down at times. We should be led by the Holy Spirit’s voice within us. The Word tells us that He will lead us into all truth.

And then it says to think on things that are lovely. What is lovely? A flower, a friendship, the flames of a warm fire, poetry, sunshine, rainbows, a hot bath, a good book, an act of kindness, rain on the window, and people who love without expecting anything in return. There are so many lovely things in this world that we overlook, because our hearts are preoccupied and heavy. If we will take time to see the beauty, it is most assuredly there among the heartache and stress of life.

And finally, it mentions things that are of a good report. To me that means the positive, uplifting things in life. When you are around someone who is continually negative, it brings you down also. We all have to vent at times, and we all need to get out the things that are hurting us. This doesn’t mean to hide your feelings. It really means to keep trying to look on the sunny side of things. Don’t assume that tomorrow will be worse than today, or that things will never get better. Think positively and speak positively (whenever you are able).  It can really make a difference in the way you feel. Scientists tell us that our thoughts have a lot to do with our physical and emotional health. Laughter is good medicine, so laugh a little each day (even if it’s at yourself.) That is one thing I enjoy. No matter how much I am hurting, I can still find something funny about the situation, and at times I think that attitude may have saved my life.

So, it’s time to shake the dust off my feet, clear the cobwebs out of my mind, and begin to think on these things…

Please view other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html