Sorrow Rhymes with Joy

Inspiring millions of people, Helen Steiner Rice’ poetry radiates the profound yearnings of every individual who seeks a deeper relationship with God. With compassion and sincerity, she joyfully writes each uplifting verse to share about God’s love.

She grew up in a family that nurtured her faith in God and love for His Word. Life had been fairly good for Helen until it was punctuated by episodes of misfortune.

Her father died during the 1918 flu epidemic and left her devastated.

After losing his job, Franklin Rice, her husband, sank into depression and committed suicide.

Her mother, whom she’s very close to, suddenly died of a heart attack.

At a mature age, her health deteriorated and she began to experience depression.

Despite of all her sufferings, she acknowledges, “All things work together to complete God’s master plan, and He can see what’s best for man.” Her circumstances led her to commune closely with God and to become more sensitive with the plight of others.

Out from her sorrows, she wrote,

 

When everything is pleasant and bright

And the things we do turn out just right,

We feel without question that God is real,

For when we are happy, how good we feel,

 

 

But when the tides turn and gone is the song

And misfortune comes and our plans go wrong,

 

 

It is when our senses are reeling

We realize clearly it’s faith and not feeling,

For it takes great faith to patiently wait,

Believing God comes not too soon nor too late.

 

 

Helen Steiner Rice anchored her heart at one truth that forever remains —

God’s love never fails, never gives up and never runs out on us. His love is constant through trials and change.

 

 

Rising Above Sheldon’s Routine

 

Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper is a fictional character in the American sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. He is characterized as extremely intelligent, socially awkward and rigidly logical. (wikipedia, 2012) One of his eccentricities include strict adherence to routine like compelling himself to do designated activities on each day of the week and sitting on the same cushion of his couch at all times.

 

 

 

 

Sheldon: (Smelling the french toast) “That does smell good! (throwing away the toast) Too bad, it’s Monday.”

 

 

 

 

I also adhere to a daily routine. Uncertainty is something I don’t want to wake up on every morning. But of course, I don’t have Monday pyjamas!

I always aimed to live life in a secure box where I’ll feel safe or at ease and without stress. But the reality is, at some point in my life, “adversity” will arrive knocking at my doorstep.

Ashton Kutcher once said, “I’m continually trying to make choices that put me against my own comfort zone. As long as you’re uncomfortable, it means you’re growing.“

As a part-time medical assistant, I follow a designated schedule in a week.  Aberrations seldom happen unless a staff cannot report to work. Until recently, there were major changes made in the staffing which significantly reduced my number of work days. Caught unprepared, this turn of events left me distraught and unsettled. Along the process, I learned, emotions are unreliable allies.

In his book, Think on These Things, John Maxwell encourages, “Some of life’s greatest virtues — such as faith, patience, perseverance and hope—come by way of disappointments. By God’s grace, I was able to accept my unfortunate situation. I began to realize, I got so satisfied with my present position than my future growth. I resumed applying for other jobs and started being prudent in my expenses. Although it took a toll on my monthly budget, I still continued offering my tithes to God. I strongly believe, the Lord deserves honour with everything I have. He promises,”Your store-houses will be filled with many good things and your barrels will flow over with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10)

Last 28th of June, I was asked to fill in someone’s absence in another branch. It is something new and it broke my daily routine. I had to learn a new route going there, work in a new environment and rub elbows with new people. Even if it’s just temporary, God gave me the conviction to do my best. Working for ten hours that day left me bushed when I got home. However, I can’t contain my joy for I got rewarded to regularly work there for two days.

In her article, Out of Your Comfort Zone, Lee Anne Bartlett explains, “In life, things never stay the same — you are either moving forward stretching for bigger better goals or you are slowly moving backwards.”

I began to learn that embracing change is not an end in itself , but only through change can there be true growth. (Maxwell, 2010)

These changes opened the door for me to build new relationships and learn from them.

 

 

It also allowed me to serve others and lay aside my own comfort.

 

 

Definitely, it’s always easier to stay in the same rut. But why only settle with our comfortable nests? Each day, we can reach another undiscovered height and give God the glory He deserves.

 

 

10 Minutes Longer

In his article, What’s courage got, David Gouthro defines courage as an inner quality that becomes evident when you take action on an uncertain or unpredictable outcome. He further expounds,” You have a sense of what you hope to achieve — but there’s no guarantee you’ll do so.”

Last June 15, 2012, 1500 ft above raging waters, aerialist Nik Wallenda walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope battling brisk winds and thick mists. And he tells people,in pursuing their dreams, the most important legacy his great-grandfather passed on to him is not to give up.

The following day, I also experienced demonstrating courage 250 feet above turbulent waters — not on a tightrope — but being pulleyed across on a spanish aero car.

After a breathtaking view of the Niagara Falls, we decided to visit the Niagara Whirlpool. We took out our maps and studied how to get there (‘almost like huddling together in a football game).

 

 

The cable car is suspended by six sturdy cables and it offers a wonderful view of the Niagara Whirlpool . It can carry 35 standing passengers. A round trip is about one kilometer and takes about 10 minutes to navigate.(nyfalls.com)

 

Have you tried riding those aero cars?”, one of our friends asked.

Oh, I haven’t…uhmm…it really looks spectacular riding one, don’t you think?” (Honestly, I never considered doing so for I’m afraid of heights and I don’t know how to swim in case something bad happens)

You should try it now. Go with Cyrus.”

After clearing my throat, I answered, “ Sure! Why not?”

Walking with Cyrus, I candidly told him, “I’m sure you know how to swim. I’ll just cling on to you, just in case.”

 

 

Unfortunately, I’m not a good swimmer myself”, he replied.

 

 

 

Great, that makes two of us!” (There goes my security blanket)

Armed with a bag of cookies plus the support of our friends, we sauntered towards the embarking area.

 

A whirlpool is a swirling body of water produced by the meeting of opposing currents. The sharp and sudden change in direction of water flow, coupled with the rapid flow of water exiting the Niagara Gorge results in turbulent swirling of the river.(wikipedia, 2011)

Problems coming from all directions can be perceived as whirlpools too. And many times, people become enslaved to their situation because they see nothing but problems. But a proper perspective shrivels a bad situation. (Maxwell, 1999)

What really caught my attention is that the river looks majestic despite the turbulence.

The oxygen and minerals it contains create an excellent environment for the growth of algae. When sunlight hits it at the right angle and intensity, the algae acts like prisms reflecting back an aquamarine hue.(nyfalls.com)

We can eventually see clear waters in the whirlpool of our trials.

According to John Maxwell, success is never instantaneous. It is continuous. It takes growth and development. The true measure of success is not what position we have reached in life, but what obstacles we have overcome to reach our desired goal. Persistence overcomes obstacles.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “ A man is a hero not because he is braver than anyone else, but because he’s brave for ten minutes longer.” I rediscovered I can be one but not by my own strength.