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WITandWISDOM(tm) - January 5, 2005
Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is impossible for talent is genius. - Henri-Frederic Amiel
Source: Inspire, http://www.inspirelist.com/
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
Name Them One By One
By Mark Phillips
It was a typical Indiana spring day. Outside the house, it was raining. Inside the house, it was raining. Water slowly dripped from the ceiling, reminding me that when you replace your own roof, there's nobody to get mad at when it leaks.
I should be a pretty good roofer, I spent two summers roofing when I was in college. Of course that was in West Texas, where rainfall averaged 16.5 ounces a year (prior to last year's drought). Could it be that I was a really bad roofer all along and just never had my work tested?
I opened the closet, took out my wife's green raincoat and my Indiana Jones hat, and headed outside. I stood under the edge of the garage, looking sternly up at the spot where the leak was, hoping that if I stared at it long enough and hard enough it would stop. It didn't.
Out came the ladder, and up I went. I began squirting sticky black roofing cement into the roof valley, pressing it into place with my finger. As I worked, the rain continued to fall. Eventually, a perfect rain channel formed down the back of my coat, funneling all the water that hit my back directly down into the back of my pants.
And then it happened. As I stood there in the rain, I heard the bells at the nearby retirement home begin to chime. And as the notes played, the words to a great old hymn came into my mind: "When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed..."
I began to smile as the song continued: "When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost."
"Here it comes," I thought. The bells sang, "Count your many blessings, name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done."
I stood on the roof, soaking wet, my hands covered with tar, grinning and singing, "Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings and see what God has done."
And so I did:
It was 75 degrees outside instead of 35. I had some extra roof cement in the garage. The water could have leaked one foot away, onto the computer. I did actually have an hour of unscheduled time available (softball practice was rained out). All in all, as roof leaks go, it was a pretty painless one. And the bells reminded me of that.
You may read this and say, "Well, Mark's just one of those saccharine-sweet smilers, a guy who always sees the glass as 'half-full'." Wrong.
My glass is completely full, and runs over every single day with blessings. And while there are days that I'm too pig-headed or self-centered to see it, most days I am amazed at what I have. And even though I don't know you, my guess is that your days are mostly pretty good too.
"Count your blessings, name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done."
Source: Laugh & Lift, http://www.premiumhealth.com/laughlift/
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
"So, what's the matter? I thought you just got back from a nice relaxing fishing trip with your husband."
"Oh, everything went wrong:
First he said I talked so loud I would scare the fish.
Then he said I was using the wrong bait; and then that I was reeling in too soon.
"All that might have been all right; but then, to make matters worse, I ended up catching the most fish!"
Source: Clean Laugh, http://www.cybersaltlists.org/
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
I was baby-sitting my two grandchildren, Tony, 5, and Holly, 2, when Holly temporarily disappeared. As I ran through the house calling Holly’s name, Tony came to my aid.
“I’ll help you, Grandma,” he said. “If you don’t find her, you won’t get paid for baby-sitting, will you?”
Source: Country, April/May 2004, http://www.country-magazine.com/
Dofleen, an explorer in tropical jungles of South America, noticed an unusual nest built in the jungle foliage above ground. The leaves were sewn together with tiny silken threads. Puzzled, he looked for spiders. There were none. Could this be the work of the ants that he saw scurrying about? Knowing that ants don't have the ability to spin silk as spiders do, he wondered what mysterious method they used to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat.
He carefully cut the silk threads that held the leaves in place, then settled down to watch. Immediately the ants set to work to repair the damage. First they removed the old strands of silk. When the cleanup job was finished, a long chain of ants, one hanging on to the other, formed a bridge from the edge of one leaf to the other. Carefully the first ant pulled the leaf to the next. He in turn handed it to the ant behind him until the edges of the leaves touched.
At that moment from the inner part of the nest came workers, each carrying a baby ant. These totally helpless ant larva spin cocoons about themselves as they change into adults. Holding the ant larva to the leaf edge, the adult ant banged on the hind end where the silk thread emerges. Expertly he moved it up and down, back and forth like a zigzag sewing machine. Each time he wanted to make a new stitch he hit the hind end again and continued.
Source: Stop, Look and Listen by Eileen E. and Jay H. Lantry, Copyright(c)1976 by Review and Herald Publishing Association, LCCN 75-32229
Submitted by Mary Thayne