“The Time to be Happy is NOW. The Place to be Happy is HERE.” – Robert Green Ingersoll
By Russell Kelfer
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, “Wait.”
“Wait? You say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.
“My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.
“You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.”
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, “Wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting for what?”
He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.
“I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.
“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.
“You’d never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
“The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.
“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.
“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait.”
My boss was complaining in a staff meeting the other day that he wasn’t getting any respect. Later that morning he went out and got a small sign that read, “I’m the Boss.” He then taped it to his office door.
Later that day when he returned from lunch, he found that someone had taped a note to the sign that said, “Your wife called. She wants you to bring her sign back.”
We sometimes take English for granted, but if we examine its paradoxes we find that quicksand takes you down slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. There is no egg in the eggplant, no ham in the hamburger, and neither pine nor apple are in the pineapple. If writers write, how come fingers don’t fing?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, shouldn’t the plural of phone booth be phone beeth? If the teacher taught, why didn’t the preacher praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what the heck does a humanitarian eat!? Why do people recite at a play, yet play at a recital?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which a house can burn up as it burns down. When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why it is that when I wind up my watch it starts, but when I wind up this poem, it ends?”
“Winterize your lawn,” the big sign outside the garden store commanded. I’ve fed it, watered it, mowed it, raked it and watched a lot of it die anyway. Now I’m supposed to winterize it? I hope it’s too late. Grass lawns have to be the stupidest thing we’ve come up with outside of thong swimsuits! We constantly battle dandelions, Queen Anne’s lace, thistle, violets, chicory and clover that thrive naturally, so we can grow grass that must be nursed through an annual four-step chemical dependency.
Imagine the conversation The Creator might have with St. Francis about this:
“Frank you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there in the Midwest? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracted butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.”
“It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great extent to kill them and replace them with grass.”
“Grass? But it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It’s temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?”
“Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.”
“The spring rains and cool weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.”
“Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it – sometimes twice a week.”
“They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?”
“Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.”
“They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?”
“No, sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away”
“Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?”
“These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.”
“You aren’t going believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.”
“What nonsense! At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It’s a natural circle of life.”
“You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and have them hauled away.”
“No! What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and keep the soil moist and loose?”
“After throwing away your leaves, they go out and buy something they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.”
“And where do they get this mulch?”
“They cut down trees and grind them up.”
“Enough! I don’t want to think about this anymore. Saint Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?”
“Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It’s a real stupid movie about…”
“Never mind I think I just heard the whole story.”
The deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised. – J.R.R. Tolkien
“The fellow that has no money is poor. The fellow that has nothing but money is poorer still.” – Billy Sunday
“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.” – Dr. Albert Schweitzer
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay
There were once two identical twins. They were alike in every way but one. One was a hope-filled optimist who only ever saw the bright side of life. The other was a dark pessimist, who only ever saw the down side in every situation.
The parents were so worried about the extremes of optimism and pessimism in their boys they took them to the Doctor. He suggested a plan. “On their next birthday give the pessimist a shiny new bike, but give the optimist only a pile of manure.”
It seemed a fairly extreme thing to do. After all the parents had always treated heir boys equally. But in this instance they decided to try to Doctor’s advice. So when the twins birthday came round they gave the pessimist the most expensive, top of the range, racing bike a child has ever owned. When he saw the bike his first words were, “I’ll probably crash and break my leg.”
To the optimist they gave a carefully wrapped box of manure. He opened it, looked puzzled for a moment, then ran outside screaming, “You can’t fool me! Where there’s this much manure, there’s just gotta be a pony around here somewhere!”