Category Archives: Parables

My Annual Trip To Regret City

I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. I’m talking about my annual “Guilt Trip.”

I got tickets to fly there on Wish I Had airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been. No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this small town.

As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year’s most important event, the Annual Pity Party. I wasn’t going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there.

First, there would be the Done family, you know, Should Have, Would Have and Could Have. Then came the I Had family. You probably know ol’ Wish and his clan. Of course, the Opportunities would be present, Missed and Lost. The biggest family would be the Yesterday’s. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share.

Then Shattered Dreams would surely make and appearance. And It’s Their Fault would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in his life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don’t Blame Me and I Couldn’t Help It.

Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent “pity party” could be cancelled by ME! I started to truly realize that I did not have to be there. I didn’t have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN’T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging.

Knowing this, I left the City of Regret immediately and left no forwarding address. Am I sorry for mistakes I’ve made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them.

So, if you’re planning a trip back to the City of Regret, please cancel all your reservations now. Instead, take a trip to a place called, Starting Again. I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors, the I Forgive Myselfs and the New Starts are so very helpful. By the way, you don’t have to carry around heavy baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. God bless you in finding this great town. If you can find it — it’s in your own heart — please look me up. I live on I Can Do It street.

I came across this story yesterday. I do not know the author, otherwise I would give him the credit.

Stradivarius And My Gratitude

Saying “Thank You” to the person who has helped you is so important. This poem about Stradivarius by George Eliot shows how important the other person is our lives.

When any master holds,
‘Twixt chin and hand a violin of mine,
He will be glad that Stradivari lived,
Made violins, and made them of the best.
The masters only know whose work is good;
Then they will choose mine, and while God gives them skill
I give them instruments to play upon,
God choosing me to help them.

There is always someone there to help me. God sent, Yes. I have learned that they will not stay there without a Thank You from me. I wonder how far I would be if I had thanked more people and not taken them for granted.

If Stradivarius had decided to make toys instead of violins, we would never be able to enjoy that gift.  Maybe there would never be another with that talent. Maybe there would not be another with that talent for a thousand years. So the same is in my life. The person in my life my be the only one that will be sent with that particular talent. If another will be sent, when? In time? Am I willing to risk the loss?

I can thank God for the people in my life, but if I do not thank them personally the chances are good they will move on to where they are appreciated. The parable of the Talents. The man that did not use the talents that were given to him, they were taken away and given to the one who did. The same will happen to the people that are sent into my life to bless me. If I do not make use of them and show my gratitude to them they will leave.

Plenty of studies have been done to back this up. People do not stay at a job because of money. They stay because they know they are appreciated and because they have a chance to use the gifts they have.

Did you ever say to yourself “I had that idea. Look what that lucky person did with the idea.” Someone was put into your life to put that idea to work. You did not use the talent that was given to you. The idea was given to you first. You buried it and it was taken from you and given to someone else. If you are given an idea, the way to put it to use is also given to you. Keep your eyes open. Tell the people in your life that are helping you, that you are grateful for what they are doing for you.

The Cat Chases It’s Tail

I heard this story last night. Really makes you look at how we approach life.

There was this kitten chasing its tail. An old alley cat comes along and asks the kitten what it is doing. The kitten says “I have just been to cat university and in psychology class we learned that the most important thing in life is love and that love is in our tails. I figured I will catch my tail. Then I will hold on to it and always have love.” The alley cat said “I have not had the same opportunities that you have had. I grew up in this alley and never had any money to go to school. I found out the same thing. That love is in our tails. The other thing I found out is if I go about my daily business doing what I am supposed to do, that my tail follows me wherever I go.

If I try to make someone love me or chase love it will alude me or remain just outside my reach. But like Saint Francis says in his famous prayer, “instead of trying to get love, let me give love. God let me be a channel of your love”.

When I go about my day business, giving love out freely, no strings attached, I am not going in circles trying to hold on to a love. I am filled with love, that I can not lose.

Following the Follower

 An old man walked to work each day checking his watch as he walked through town. On his way, he detoured to the town’s only jewelry store. He would stop there each day and set his watch by the old clock in front of the store. This went on for years. The shopkeeper watched this routine with curiosity and respect for the old man’s consistency as each day passed. Rain or shine, the old man’s daily ritual never changed.

Finally one day, the jewelry shop owner stepped out of his doorway and asked the old man where he worked. The old man said “ I work down at the mill.

I stop by here each day on my way to work to set my watch. You see, this old watch may not keep the best time in the world, but it’s the only one I have. And my job is the timekeeper at the mill. I have to make sure the clocks up there are accurate. Every day at four o’clock, I sound the whistle signaling shift change time. So, each day I reset my watch to make sure I sound the whistle at the right time for all of the people who work up there.The shopkeeper looked puzzled by this reply. He told the old man, “As you can imagine, this old clock has served us well for many years. And it really doesn’t keep time that well any more. So each day at four o’clock, I reset it when I hear the mill whistle.” Both men paused, then laughed. Together, they had created their own  time zone in that small mill town.

This story should remind us that each day of our lives we do simple things that require thought and care. In many cases, our jobs and our company’s success depend on what we do.  How do we make sure we are doing the right things at the right times, the right way? 

Are we following someone who knows where he is going. Or are we following someone who is following someone else who does not know why he is going where he is going.

Choose who you follow wisely.

Childrens Books My Lifeline

I had lost control of my mind. It would race and it went where every it wanted to go. I had deteriorated to being overwhelmed by my thoughts. Fear had gotten a firm grip on my mind and emotions. It was crippling.

At this point you are in a downward spiral. The anxiety is gaining momentum. Depression is setting in. The only thing you can think of to combat this, is to think of how you got to this point and what you need to do to get back on track. Your mind races from one thought to another. Every once in  a while you come up with a positive thought. Instantly it is gone. And the racing starts again. 

I could not hold a thought. When I read, by the time I got to the end of a sentence, I forgot how it started. It was frustrating. I told John that this reading was not working. He said “what do you mean it is not working”? I can not remember what I read. His response to this ” I did not tell you to remember anything. Just to read the book. Start at the first word, then read the second word then…. till you get to the end. 

The battle for control of my mind, looking through my eyes, seemed to be a lost cause. The truth was that I was winning the battle. Without someone to guide me out of the maze in my mind, the battle would have been lost. Albert Einstein said ” you can not cure the sick mind with the mind that created the problem”. Going it alone does not work.  

Constantly looking for the reasons why I was like this. John would tell me stories like. Lets get the Jackass out of the ditch and on his way. Then if there is time we can figure out why the Jackass ran into the ditch. 20 years later still not sure why I ran into the ditch. 

Well I seem to have a style like Jean Sheperd. Starting with a point to be made at the beginning of the show. Then wondering off for 40 minutes to making the point right before the show ends.

One Saturday at a garage sale, picked up the book 3 Little Pigs. Standing there I read the book through. It was easy to read. Pictures took up most of the page. A sentence or two at the bottom. Amazed, saying to myself, you just read that book and remembered everything. LIt up like a Christmas tree, success does that for us, I made a decision to buy that book and read children’s books for my answers and guidance.

The Three Little Pigs made perfect sense to me. I had a choice to make. Which type of house was I going to build. The Little Engine That Could told me to never, never, never, ever give up.