I loved yesterday morning…the cloud coverage was wonderful…keeping the direct sun off the plants and me…allowing me to work in the garden in total comfort! Wasn’t it a refreshing breeze blowing most of the day? A great day to be alive!
I discovered an interesting analogy on our problems as we go through life. They are like clouds. In her article, Made for Joy, Alice von Hildebrand, philosopher/theologian and widow of the famous anti-Nazi German philosopher- (Dietrich von Hildebrand) makes this observation.
. There are periods of discouragement. There are times when we lose sight of the beauty of the sky for all the clouds. You may have to bear severe sickness, or deal with tremendous pain, or you may be disappointed in this or that. But remember, whatever difficulty you have to face, it will not last. It is only a cloud. For God has made each of us with a purpose.”
This paragraph (that became Hildebrand’s personal philosophy) began when she was pushed off an American ship by a German submarine crewman at the end of WWII. Alice thought she was preparing to die when these “last” thoughts flooded her.
During the war I was on the last American ship to leave France, and we were arrested by a German submarine. We were given one hour to leave the ship. I was absolutely convinced I was going to die. Absolutely! And I had such an overwhelming experience. In a tenth of a hundredth of a second I saw my life in front of me in the greatest possible detail that you can imagine. It was unbelievable. What did I realize?
. He has his plan of love for you, for me, for everyone. The problem is that we make our own plans. We want them to be realized in a certain way and at a particular time. Then we get resentful when our plans don’t materialize. Yet, you have to come to a place in your life where you can say, “You, O Lord, you choose for me.
There is an enormous blessing in having faith, in trusting there is a God who has created you and loves you, in knowing that you have an immortal soul.. That is what matters. Whatever happens to you, say to yourself, “My God, it might not have been my choice, but it is your choice. And therefore I love it.” I believe that is the key to the meaning of life.”
In a perfect world our souls and bodies ( made for joy) would all be filled with joy from the moment we rise until we recline. *But this isn’t a perfect world…so we have to make some adjustments in our expectations. Or as Alice says:
“We are made for joy. But this joy can never be fully experienced here on earth. God’s joy is ultimately realized in eternity. To be a Christian is to understand that the cross, and the suffering of the cross, has meaning, and that suffering and woe are part of our state on this earth.
Don’t expect Paradise on earth. Don’t. But there is meaning, and this meaning is the love of God and gratitude for life on this earth. Whatever your state, whatever your situation, whatever your purpose, always remember that you are made for joy.”
So until tomorrow…
Joy and Woe Are Woven Fine
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine,
Under every grief and pine,
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so,
We were made for joy and woe,
And when this we rightly know,
Through the world we safely go.