Tag Archives: grand

Life is Grand, Ain’t It?

Good evening to all!  I pray that all those who view these words here and everyone else as well has had a tremendously blessed day.  And I would further trust that you have blessed others in return.  As for the title of this little piece I am writing, I will tell you that I have not forgotten the value, the necessity of proper speech.  To be quite honest, it pained me a bit to use the word “ain’t” because as we all know, “ain’t” ain’t a word!  I will further confess that it was a cheap ploy to hopefully gain your attention here.  However, those first three words there are very much the truth.  Life is indeed grand!  I was going over the various things that I have posted here and discovered something.  Well, it wasn’t so much a discovery , I suppose.  I know myself fairly well and the fact that I gravitate towards the serious is no secret to me.  I am passionate about things, about injustice in our world and about regaining the greatness of our nation, about people coming to know the beauty that is within them and about so many other things.  Given all of this, I sometimes in the midst of being intense, forget about the simple joys that are so abundant in this world.

There is so much to smile at and give thanks for each precious day that we are alive.  For example, did you feel the rays of the Sun today as it gently warmed you?  Smile and give thanks!  What is that you say?  There was no Sun for you and it rained most of the day?  Then smile and give thanks to the heavens for giving to us once again the water that sustains us all.  And perhaps better still, do as you did as a child and turn your face upward to feel those rain drops upon your skin.  Then smile and give thanks for the gift of this miraculous liquid sunshine!  For Life is indeed grand!

Take a moment or two out of your day here and ruminate on the grandeur of Life.  And if some of you are grumbling, saying, “Oh, if you knew what my day has been like, then maybe you wouldn’t even suggest such a thing.  I was stuck in traffic for an hour and arrived to work late and the day went downhill from there!”  Hmmmmmmm……So, you did arrive to work which means you are still breathing, yes?  Take a deep breath even now so as to be sure.  But I want you to savor that breath, really feel that breath and realize the miracle of it.  Now, smile and give thanks for being alive.  That is my suggestion for you on this beautiful day.  There is a line from a Mel Brooks movie that my dear brother reminds me of now and again and here it is  –  “There are so many things you can’t do when you’re dead!”  A bit boldly stated for my taste but very much the truth.  Think about those words.  In fact, print them out and place them where you will see them often.  For Life is indeed grand!

Did someone send a smile your way as you walked down the street today?  And how about the person who held the door open for you because they noticed that your hands were quite full?  And what of that dog or cat that greets you each day, freely giving you their love and affection when you walk in the door?  And do you remember seeing that elderly couple in the store today?  Remember how you smiled when you noticed that they were still holding hands after all those years?  Smile and give thanks for Life is indeed grand!  And earlier today, when you were having that particularly stressful moment and that one song that always brightens your day came on the radio and for those few moments, things became just a bit easier to handle?  My friend, these are all small but precious gifts that Life provides us with each and every day.  If we take the time to notice and appreciate these and the countless other occurrences throughout our day, we will begin to realize that Life is indeed grand!

I should tell you that there was a catalyst that brought about my train of thought here.  Actually there were two incidents that gave me pause and made me think, really think about the grandeur of Life.  The first incident was when a few weeks ago, someone in my immediate family had a series of mini-strokes. And in actuality, the “mini-strokes” were a blessing, as odd as that may sound.  I suppose one could say it was the difference between getting punched in the arm a number of times or getting one swift, hard uppercut to the jaw.  The swift uppercut to the jaw would have obviously been the worst of the two.  There has been much prayer obviously and add to this the fact that this individual is a fighter and the result is a rather substantial recovery thus far.  This has caused me to remember that Life is indeed grand!  It is all too easy to get caught up in our life and forget about Life itself, yes?

There is also someone I know who is very dear to my heart who recently lost a loved one.  It is a difficult time for them, I know.  And strangely enough, this person is steadfastly giving words of encouragement to others throughout this ordeal.  It amazes me, to be quite honest.  This was the other incident I spoke of previously.  These are the reasons why I am realizing afresh and anew that you and I, that all of us need to savor every precious moment of every wonderful day and to be aware of the many gifts and blessings that surround us always.  My desire is that we consistently smile and give thanks for Life is indeed grand!

Thank you for your kind attention this evening.  Take care, be blessed and live Life abundantly!

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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The River

Life is very much like a river, wouldn’t you think?  Come, let us take a look at that river even just now.  The first thing we can observe is the surface, which is relatively calm in most situations.  It mirrors the sky and trees above it, a beautiful sight to behold as earth and sky reflect as one.  Yet this reflection also serves to disguise the world just below this shimmering, placid picture.  Just below the rivers’ surface, there are numerous currents, flowing this way and that, seemingly with minds of their own.  There are countless life forms below as well, too many to count with each one trying to live out its life cycle.  Many simply do not make it.  Some are swallowed whole by others, their existence ended in the time it takes to blink your eyes.  Others are dissected slowly, one bit at a time as if this river of life had sent an emissary to deal with them, perhaps to see how much it will take to break them or perhaps to see if they will break at all!  Yes, the waters here are teeming with all sorts of scenarios that make up its life and the lives within it.  Are there not parallels to be drawn with life above surface?

Speaking of the world above the river’s surface, let us now return there for a time.  Now if one looks sharply, they will see what appears to be a canoe coming this way.  As it draws close, it is apparent that there are two men in this canoe, sometimes paddling and at other times simply  allowing the current to pull them along.  They are coming in closer now, close enough to see they are surely Father and Son.  One would have to be without sight not to see the resemblance.  At first glance, they appear to be having themselves a good time.  The Son is at the rear of the canoe and occasionally uses the paddle to “accidentally” splash water on the father.  At some point, he even steers the craft into some overhanging branches which, of course grazes Dad’s head!  Oops!  And their laughter fills the sky above when this occurs.  Yes, it appears they are having themselves a grand time here!……On the surface, that is.

However, if you look a just a bit closer in, you may see some irritation in the eyes of the younger fellow.  You might even catch a glimpse of a sort of satisfaction in those eyes when the front of the canoe heads into the branches previously mentioned.  Now beyond that, there is nothing that the casual observer would notice.  But were it possible to probe deeper, to go further below the surface, you would see that things are not always as they seem to be.  You would see a picture of the Father at work, always at work during the formative years of his sons’ life.  As the years wear on, you get glimpses of discord in family life, of situations beyond control and lives seemingly out of control.  And Dad?  Well, Dad is the provider, trying to provide and doing what he feels is the right thing for his family.  The Son understands these things as he matures, of course.  Or does he really?  Perhaps there is some small part of him that carries resentment towards those lost years and the lack of family unity.  And I am speculating here, but perhaps that resentment surfaced, if only briefly during that day on the river.

Yes, Life is indeed very much like a river.  And a river is very much like Life.  I suppose that may be where the term “River of Life” originated from. Perhaps this is true.


Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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