Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Winning Words 7/6/11
“Don’t try to steer the river.” (Deepak Chopra) I used to live in a river town, and every spring there seemed to be the problem of controlling the floods. I can’t remember that sandbagging really worked. Today’s quote isn’t about flooding, it’s about dealing with those things in life that are beyond our control. Some do it with positive thinking, some with therapy. A friend called last week…”Pray for me.” ;-) Jack

FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: You were on the computer a little bit later today. Glad to see you finally popped up and with another good WW too. Just reflecting on them a bit and wondering what all your readers will reply. When I was a lot younger, I used to escape into fiction when I found I couldn't control life, things like Wuthering Heights, Virginia Wolf's novels, Kafka. Now that I'm older and and have welcomed God's reality more into my life and therefore less need of escaping into the imagination, I turn to religious writing. Just finished "The Cross in our Context: Jesus and the Suffering World" and "Bound and Free: A Theologian's Journey" both by Douglas John Hall. Reading the Bible is the basis, and I think the WW you choose, as well as your own commentary also help to cope with this condition of being weak and strong at the same time, being human with faith.////FROM JACK: Life is a matter of making adjustments....Like this morning. As I was ready to send out Winning Words at the usual time, I couldn't get the computer to cooperate. Comcast said that they were having "line" problems. So, I patiently waited for the "all clear." As today's quote says: "Go with the flow."

FROM CWR IN B'MORE: Amen........Thanks.////FROM JACK: .....or putting it another way, it's like being up the creek without a paddle. Sometimes there are days like that.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Those are good Winning Words. We often try to steer the river. And a lot of us who think we can steer, when we see where it's headed, try to reverse and swim upstream, but you can't undo what's been done. Riding it out can sometimes be scary.////FROM JACK: When I was a kid, I remember going out after a rainstorm and trying to block the water running in the gutter with leaves, branches and dirt. The dam would work for a while, but eventually the water would have it's way.////MORE FROM RI: That's an interesting bit of nostalgia, for me because I did the same thing. I also made little paddle boats with a rubber-band power source, and launched them in the bigger puddles.

FROM JS IN MICHIGAN: Jim Lundeen and I ran a Red Cross shelter in the '65 flood on the Mississippi ... interesting experience....////FROM JACK: There are learning experiences that come with living in a Mississippi River town. You have described one of them. Respect for nature is another.

FROM JL IN MICHIGAN: A related concept that I love: water in a river doesn't bash into the rocks standing in the path - frustrated, waiting for it to change - the water flows around it with ease. A metaphor for life. //// FROM JACK: Question of the day (taken from the song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone)..."When will they (we) ever learn?"

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: If the river rises, get in a boat and rise with it.////FROM JACK: ...and make sure that all the leaks are plugged.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: A lot of rivers are raging fast, and out-of-control, as the Sangamon River was doing here, a couple of weeks ago. It is something that AZ just got its biggest wild fire under control, and now is preparing for flooding! Being unable to steer the river, seems an analogy of our times: So many natural disasters, so much political division, so many unstable and chaotic regimes, etc. etc. in the world. We have to constantly remind ourselves that God is in charge, and believe SOMEHOW God's purpose will prevail. Hard not to be anxious for our "grands", and "greats" in this world we are leaving our children...But of course every generation seems to have had these fears about the "younger" generation, even in ancient times, so we try to "go with the flow" and keep peace of mind, while doing our little bit to steer what we can aright!////FROM JACK: Mark Twain said: "It is your human environment that makes climate." According to what I read today, he did not say, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it."

FROM WATERFORD JAN: I like this one, but my new favorite Winning Words and one that I printed and taped up is the one by Shantideva, the Buddhist scholar, regarding worrying. Did I already ask you if you're going to publish a collection of your Winning Words? I like your Winning Comments that accompany the quote, and the author's name when known.////FROM JACK: Who would buy a book, when they can get the stuff for free by going to my blog? Now, you're causing me to look up Shantideva to see what I wrote. It's a good thing that I'm retired and have mlots of free time.

FROM CC IN MICHIGAN: I always enjoy reading your "winning words." Thought provoking issues keep us old guys going.////FROM JACK: As the saying goes, "The mind is a terrible thing to waste." I look upon Winning Words as daily exercises for that wonderful organ, the brain.

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