Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Only Through Reflection - John 3:16-21

Quote of the Day
To know where you're going, you have to know where you've been.
Mayme A. Clayton, Ph.D. (1923-2006)

(16) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  (17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  (18) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (19) This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  (20) Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  (21) But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

There are many things associated with my childhood that I don't particularly like.  There are, however, things that never fail to evoke a smile from my lips.  I was born in a clinic in a small town in southeastern North Carolina.  The name of the town is Rose Hill.  I like that name.  I like the fact that the Duplin Winery is in Rose Hill, Duplin County.  I'm not much of a wine drinker, but I like the fact that this winery is established on the soil of my birth.
Another fond memory is that of smelling the muscadine grapes from my step-uncle's grapevine when the grapes were at peak ripeness.  That's another reason I like the smell of some of the Duplin wines.  I associate the smell with a good memory in my youth. 
I love flowers and all types of plants.  I used to work with my step-grandma in her flower gardens.  I learned so much from her.  She died many years ago, but when I see beautiful azaleas blooming, I think of her, and when I see pansies, daffodils, petunias, roses, camelias, (the list goes on and on and on), I remember our special time together.
I remember walking along the bank of the river during the Christmas season gathering holly branches heavily laden with those red, red berries to fashion my own Christmas wreath for our front door.  To this day, when I see the bounty of the holly trees, I visit those happy times of my youth.
I remember being in the kitchen with Mama as she baked cookies.  She used to bake tea cakes.  They, like Mama, were simple and delicate.  Mama was a sweet, simple country woman and I lived with her longer than her other children lived with her.  I felt I knew her better than anyone else, and I loved the simplicity of her ways.  She used to wear an apron when she prepared her meals.  A couple of years ago, I found a pattern for an apron and made myself a beautiful one with tiny pink roses in the fabric.  I think of Mama when I wear it.
You see, I didn't share any negative memories with you.  I want to trigger beautiful, happy memories of your own youth.  We all have a story.  I'm no exception.  I do, we do, have a choice which memories to hold on to and which ones to let go. 
I encourage you to reflect upon your own youth and cull through the memories, discarding the useless, unpleasant ones and focus on the positive, healthy and beautiful memories.  I know where I've been and I know where I'm going.  I'm going to continue to create beauty in my life and in the lives of those around me.  If I should lose my voice, I will still praise God.  If I lose the use of my hands, I will still praise God.  If I lose the use of my legs, I will still praise God.  Some how, some way, through whatever means available to me, I will praise God and I will use whatever means I have to encourage you and my fellow neighbors (and, of course, my family and friends) in my church, in my community and in my world to the best of my ability. 
Only through relfection can I see where I've been, where God was; where I am, where God is; where I'm going and where God will be....beside me all the way!
Take care and slow down long enough during this special Christmas season to draw to mind some beautiful memories of your own.  This will be a Christmas as no other has ever been before.  Create beautiful memories today, this Christmas, that someone will remember years from now as they reflect upon where they have been and where they are going.
Through deep, sincere cogitation you will come to a better understanding of where you have been and where are you going, what to release from your mind and what to weave into the very fabric of your soul?  Make sure you remember that God is by your side every step of the way.
Love, Nan

No comments:

Post a Comment