Streams in the Desert

“Streams in the desert”–take a moment to visualize them… mmm. Feet burning in the sand, then stepping into coolness and salvation.

Streams in the Desert is an old school devotional that I love.

I meant to share this with you the other day, from August 3:

Do not pray for easy lives! Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle. ~Phillips Brooks

We must remember that it is not in any easy or self-indulgent life that Christ will lead us to greatness. The easy life leads not upward, but downward. Heaven always is above us, and we must ever be looking toward it. There are some people who always avoid things that are costly, that require self-denial, or self-restraint and sacrifice, but toil and hardship show us the only way to nobleness. Greatness comes not by having a mossy path made for you through the meadow, but by being sent to hew out a roadway by your own hands. Are you going to reach the mountain splendors? ~Selected

Be strong!
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift.
Shun not the struggle; face it.
‘Tis God’s gift.

Be strong!
Say not the days are evil–who’s to blame?
And fold the hands and acquiesce–O shame!
Stand up, speak out, and bravelly,
In God’s name.

Be strong!
It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long,
Faint not, fight on!
Tomorrow comes the song.
~Maltbie D. Babcock

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Totally none of my business, but are you okay?

Renee SchexnaildreI’m at the DFW airport. Got an unexpected ride here so I’m earlier than usual for my flight. Walking down the corridors humming with life, ruminating about the seminar I just attended. Given my forever involvement with communication, events and the irresistible impulse to make communication more effective, I always ruminate after events. Especially regarding message – were there any interferences between the intent, the conception and the reception of the words?

But I digress. Walking down the corridor toward my gate, a cart driver offered me a ride. But I was only 6 gates away. So I said no thank you. He said – But I want to help you. I said – cue big friendly smile – no, really, thank you. Kept walking.

Humming along, roller bag cooperating, glancing here and there, instinctively people watching, and I spot a female flight attendant, cornered up against a kiosk, looking for emotional safety as she reads something on her phone with tears running down her cheeks. We made momentary eye contact and I didn’t break stride – until about 10 feet past her and then I just had to back up, approach her kind of sideways and say, “Totally none of my business, but are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m okay, just very sad…” Ow. “I’m so sorry,” I said. “Whatever it is, I’m so sorry. I will go away and say a prayer for you. Whatever it is, know you are not forgotten. You are not forgotten.” She thanked me. I touched her arm gently then went my way, lest I totally creep her out.

So I am saying a prayer for comfort for her, for solutions, for logistics. She probably is in the middle of a shift and will have to go now and smile at all the passengers and try to make their flights pleasant, while inside she is weeping and coping and processing whatever bad news she just got.

You know, we’re all together on this planet… the butterfly effect of the private aches we carry is a cosmic mystery…

In the meanwhile, be kind to your flight attendant.

Oh, and sometimes say no to rides.