Leaving the City of Regret

Leaving the City of Regret

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 dismal 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

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How Heavy is Your Bag?

How Heavy is Your Bag?

One of my teachers had each one of us bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes. For every person we’d refuse to forgive in our life, we were told to choose a potato, write on it the name and date, and put it in the plastic bag. Some of our bags, as you can imagine, were quite heavy. We were then told to carry this bag with us everywhere for one week, putting it beside our bed at night, on the car seat when driving, next to our desk at work. The hassle of lugging this around with us made it clear what a weight we were carrying spiritually, and how we had to pay attention to it all the time to not forget and keep leaving it in embarrassing places. Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty slime. This was a great metaphor for the price we pay for keeping our pain and heavy negativity! Too often we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person, and while that’s true, it clearly is also a gift for ourselves! So the next time you decide you can’t forgive someone, ask yourself… Isn’t MY bag heavy enough? — Author Unknown And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so

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What Do You Hear?

What Do You Hear?

A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening. Suddenly, the Native American said, “I hear a cricket.” His friend said, “What? You must be crazy. You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!” “No, I’m sure of it,” the Native American said, “I heard a cricket.” “That’s crazy,” said the friend. The Native American listened carefully for a moment and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure enough, he located a small cricket. His friend was utterly amazed. “That’s incredible,” said his friend. “You must have superhuman ears!” “No,” said the Native American. “My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you’re listening for.” “But that can’t be!” said the friend. “I could never hear a cricket in this noise.” “Yes, it’s true,” came the reply. “It depends on what is really important to you. Here, let me show you.” He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few

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True Love

True Love

It was a busy morning, approximately 8:30 a.m., when an elderly man in his 80’s, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, we began to engage in conversation. I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I then inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not

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The Jars

The Jars

The preacher placed two identical jars on the table next to the pulpit. He quoted 1 Samuel 16:7 “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” “These jars came from the same factory, were made of the same materials, and can hold the same amount. But they are different,” he explained. Then he upset one and it oozed out honey. He turned over the other, and vinegar spilled out. “When a jar is upset, whatever is in it comes out. Until the jars were upset, they looked alike. The difference was within, and could not be seen. When they were upset, their contents were revealed.” “Until we are upset we put on a good front. But when we are upset, we reveal our innermost thoughts and attitudes, for ‘out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks’ (Luke 6:45).’” What if someone tipped you over today? What would flow out? Would you reveal the “honey” of grace and patience or the “vinegar” of anger and sarcasm? “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Have a terrific day knowing that the one who upsets you may be just looking for some honey. — Author Unknown

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