Hello again. I was down to the last day before this newsletter went to press and I still had no good inspirational experience to share with you. The last 3 months have not gone too well. As my dementia progresses - very slowly thank goodness - I find myself becoming more fearful of minor things and more negative. The plans for the expansion of New Hope Education Center keep looking better and better. As Linda gets more and more excited, I worry more and more. I worry about the logistics. How will I get the warehouse emptied? With classes mornings, afternoons and evenings, when do we clean? Where do we plow the snow when we expand the parking lot, etc.? I lay awake at night worrying about the smallest details. What bothers me the most is I should be the very last person to worry. I have 17 years of experiencing one miracle after the other. God has never let us down! We have had many tough times but God always brought us through them, so why am I looking at the glass being half empty when Linda sees it as half full?
When I got this far with Gary's corner I told Linda I couldn't use this because it's too negative. She said "you don't always have to be positive. You are human. Sometimes you are not looking at the whole picture and dwell on just one piece of the whole puzzle." Then she gave me the following story which I would like to share with you. It is called Seasons of Life.
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly so he sent them each on a quest, in turn to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and returned, he called them together to describe what they had seen. The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent and twisted. The second son said it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed. He said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful. It was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all them. He said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment. The man then explained to his sons that they were all right because they had each seen only one season in the tree's life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree or a person by only one season. The essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end when all the seasons are up. If you give up when it's winter you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, and the fulfillment of your fall. Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don't judge life by one difficult season.
Yes, now it's winter, but this spring we should break ground for the new school. In the summer we will see the fruits of months and months of hard labor to create a warm welcoming environment to bring new hope to the neglected East Side of Buffalo. In the fall, we will start to see lives changing, as individuals come to learn skills that enable them to earn a living wage and finally see the light at the end of their poverty. I hope this story brightens your day as it has mine. God bless you and keep you in his care through all the sea-sons of your life.
Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come in time.
Aspire to Inspire before you Expire.
Live Simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and leave the rest to God.
Happiness keeps you sweet, trials keep you strong.
Sorrows keep you human, failures keep you humble.
Success keeps you growing, but only God keeps you going.