Monday, January 01, 2007

At the beginning of most days, I set time aside to be alone and to be quiet. I spend part of this time reading and, most recently, I have been reading a book by my friend Elizabeth Harper Neeld, 'Seven Choices: Finding Daylight after Loss Shatters Your World.' In earlier blogs, I have mentioned two other books by Elizabeth. 'From the Plow to the Pulpit' is an oral life-history of evangelical preacher Tommie Harper, Elizabeth’s father. 'A Sacred Primer: The Essential Guide to Quiet Time and Prayer' is about what the title implies. Among many contributions, this book provides a structure for personal quiet times that I have found helpful.

In the concluding chapter of 'Seven Choices,' Elizabeth quotes a Chinese parable, which seems an appropriate beginning for this New Year (pp. 317-318).

"There was a farmer whose champion horse ran away and all the neighbors gathered to say, “That’s bad.” And the old farmer said, “Maybe.” The next day, the stallion came back with a whole herd of wild horses, and the neighbors all said, “That’s good.” And the old farmer said, “Maybe.” Then the farmer’s son broke his leg trying to tame one of the wild horses and the neighbors said, “That’s bad.” Right after the son broke his leg, the army came through and drafted all the young men and took them off to war, but the left the farmer’s son because his leg was broken. All the neighbors said, “That’s good” to which the farmer only said, “Maybe.” "

"And, of course, the story never ends… :"


Post a Comment

<< Home