WITandWISDOM™ - E-zine

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WITandWISDOM(tm) - September 5, 2005
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

Success is many things to many people, but if you have the courage to be true to yourself, to live up to your potential, to be fair with others, and always look for the good in any situation... Then you will have been the best you can be, and there's no greater success. – Author Unknown

Submitted Pat Haueter


If I may judge sermons by the good they do me and the length of time I can remember them, then the best sermon I ever heard was preached by an old jungle farmer, standing up to his knees in mud in the middle of an extensive rice field, and it illustrated Hebrews 12:1, 2 perfectly.

It was the monsoon season in Burma. Day by day the sky had emptied itself onto the thirsty land. The Salween River was swollen to overflowing. Every available man and woman was transplanting rice. I was taking supplies to Peter at our outstation in Naung Ka Ring. I had a pack on my back, huge rubber boots on my feet, and an umbrella over my head, but the journey was exceedingly unpleasant.

In the dry season it was only three miles across the fields, but now with the rice terraces planted or ready for planting, all filled with water and mud, the path zigzagged to six miles in, out, around, and on top of the little mud walls which bordered the tiny fields. I slipped frequently. It’s no fun to sit down and pour mud and water out of your boots; it’s no fun to itch all over with prickly heat; and I was feeling “gloriously miserable” as I sighed “Oh, there’ll be joy when the work is done.”

It was just at this time that I approached a group of about 12 people planting one tiny field. Their backs were bent. Their lips were blue. Their skin was goose fleshed. What clothes they had were stuck to their bodies because of the rain. I paused. My heart went out to them in sympathy, and I said to the poor old man nearest to me, “Uncle, I’m so sorry for you.”

He looked up and said, “Ugh?”

“I’m sorry for you, because you must be so tired,” I repeated.

The old man looked puzzled and again said, “Ugh?”

“Why, look at your skin! Your lips!” I cried. “”How tired must your back be! And that mud! Look, you are up to your knees in soft, oozy mud! And I’m sorry for you.”

A smile lit up his face. He turned to his companions and pointing to me with his thumb over his shoulder, he said: “Poor man! He doesn’t understand! He doesn’t understand!” Then he turned his radiant face toward me and added: “Teacher, you don’t understand. This is the best mud in the river valley. Look how soft it is! How easy to poke in the young plants! We started very early this morning, and there is a little bit of a moon tonight; we will keep planting till we can’t see another stalk of rice. Oh, Teacher, this is a good mud! We get 40 bushels of rice to the acre in mud like this!”

He bent again to his task. I murmured some good wishes, and turned to my journey. But something had happened. What a vision that dear old man had! The mud and the weariness were there, but he was not looking at them, he was looking at the 40 bushels of rice at the end of the harvest time, and the vision of that reward made him rejoice in his mud! Good mud!

Suddenly I found myself saying after him, “Good mud! Forty bushels of rice to the acre in mud like this!” And my weariness was gone, my feet weren’t sore any more. My prickly heat didn’t itch. I was thinking of the souls Peter and I were going to have at the harvest time, and I shouted again, “Good mud!”

By Eric B. Hare, Our Times, January 1947.

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Here is the entire text of a love letter intercepted by a second grade schoolteacher, passed on to a parent, who passed it on to me:

Dear Billy, if you dont say you love me and walk to the bus top with me I will kill myself and beet you up. I love you and wan to marry you soon. Suzy

The little girl was eight at the time. The parent showed me the letter at the rehearsal dinner the day before Suzy married Billy. Suzy was twenty four. During the wedding service, I shared the letter with the guests, and in her vows, had Suzy repeat to me: "I, Suzy, promise you, Billy, never to kill myself or beat you up."

If the marriage lasts as long as her love, and her love is as large as the laughter in the ceremony, the odds are good for a happy ever after.

By a minister, Bellevue, WA. as told to R.F.

Submitted by Kimberley Broyles


Seen on a Sign on a fish market window:

We serve shrimps,
A few crabs,
Tall people,
And a lot of
Nice people too.

Source: Smile a Day Newsletter (c), http://www.net153.com/best.htm

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

I have been giving my dog a "puzzle cube" to play with when I am not there. It is a hollow ball with a small hole in it. The hollow space is filled with dry dog food. In order to get to the food, the dog has to roll the ball around until the food falls out of the hole. It keeps them occupied for quite a while.

I had to teach him how to use the ball, although he caught on fast. I put dry food near the ball, then under it, and he learnt to push the ball away. Then I put the ball down without food under it, and he learnt to push it with his nose.

Each morning I put the ball on the back veranda for him, and each morning two or three magpies would land nearby, sometimes so close I could almost touch them. I began to wonder about their presence. One morning I headed further up the backyard to check something out, turned back, and noticed the magpies were taking food from the puzzle ball.

Our magpies have long sharp beaks, and at first I expected them to just put their beak into the hole in the ball to remove the food. But no - they had watched my dog, and were butting the ball with their heads or beak, making it roll around and release the food.

They learnt by watching, which I thought showed a lot of intelligence.

Robin Banks

WITandWISDOM™ - E-zine