Posts Tagged ‘hopeless’

Let’s not let Disaster make us Victims……

There are so many lessons that you learn when you are in the midst of a flood, or any natural or man-made disaster.

It seems first there is this devastation and you live in a period of despair, or perhaps it is shock. What has always been is no more. You know that life has just changed and nothing will ever be the same again. You try to fight off the desperation and defeat, but it clings to you. It is not a pleasant feeling, and as feelings go, they make you think it is all important when actually feelings are just that…how you feel.

There is no right or wrong feeling. Feelings are just that….feelings. (didn’t I just say that?) You don’t control them, you don’t put them away, you can’t blame yourself for how you feel.

Feelings aren’t really important!

What you do because of those feelings is important. It is not OK to act on feelings, because if you do, you will act wrongly. It is those times when you have to reach out and let someone know that you are in a battle for your life. Perhaps someone will come riding in and pick you up, take you away, cheer you up and replace some of the despair with hope. Most importantly we must call out to God for help. He will never leave us or forsake us, and will be there and know and understand our pain and help us through it.

There have been times when I felt absolute joy…..I don’t remember those times much, because the feelings of joy seem to have gone off in another direction, and all that is left is a memory, a faint glimpse of another time, but now there is the helplessness, and the emptiness of houses without walls and floors and windows. There are those who sleep in doorways and it is cold. There are those who are in campers and tents and in shelters, all knowing that winter is coming very fast and they have no where else to go. There is the hand out of a stranger. There is the worry of how to keep your family warm, and will you be able to pay the many many bills that have staggered your existence.

I sometimes think that it would have been better to live in a “soddy” like the early settlers did, because then you would be able to survive without furnaces, and lights, plug ins to run the appliances. Then there was a cook stove with a warm oven door where you could dress your child in the morning. There was no need for make-up and baths were taken maybe once a week in a big tub. It might be easier to have a kerosene lantern for light, and the only TV was hands creating shadow objects on the wall. There were lessons to be learned, and one of those was….save everything because you might need it and you couldn’t afford to buy it. Food was scarce, and for many it is now. But then you carried your gun and hunted your food. You were strong, resolved, determined, courageous……You knew that only you would care for your family, and you had a mighty pioneer character that made you honorable, proud and self-supporting.

Times have changed and now without electricity we can’t operate. We have bought lots of tools and gadgets that require electricity or gas to run. Our lives are much easier, but our spirits are weaker. We still have some of the characteristics of years gone by. Many people have given to others their entire lives…..Those people are the people you hear others talk about and say things like, “ so-and-so would give you the shirt off their back”. Receiving, to those people is difficult, but that is one of the lessons in a disaster that you have to learn. We fail when we don’t ask for help. When we are too proud, to even tell someone we need help. I suspect I am a little like that. It is difficult to reach out to someone and ask for assistance. It is good that there are people who just take it upon themselves to help even if not asked. It is difficult to have someone give you money, even though you needed it. It is difficult to have someone come and clean the gunk out of your house, even though you needed it, and it needed to be done. It is difficult to allow someone to cook for you when you have always done it. It feels like you are going to “owe” everyone for the rest of your life.

Others in disasters become “takers”…..they are the ones who think the world owes them a living. We have raised a whole generation of these people. It is sad, because somewhere they got the impression that work wasn’t honorable, that they were incapable of working or caring for themselves, that if they sat, someone would come and do it for them. I think it happens when parents do “everything they can” to make their children’s lives easier for their children than what the parent had. I think it happens day by day. A child has a problem and the parent “fixes” it for them. What we should have done is let them learn how to deal with their problems by guiding them in how to do it. School may be another area that makes kids think they are not capable of handling anything for themselves. Take a “bully” as an example. Kids in school are told to “tell the teacher” if someone is picking on them or doing something mean. When I was young we learned to handle it ourselves. When that happened all the kids that were being “picked” on got together and confronted that bully, if that didn’t work, then they handled it physically. Bullies didn’t last long in my school, but they are all over the playground in my Grandchildren’s school.

When I was being chased by kids with garter snakes, my Dad said….”Well, what are you going to do about it?” “As long as you are afraid they will keep doing it.” “If you run away“, “they will keep on doing it.” “If you pretend to NOT be AFRAID…it will no longer be fun for them and they will eventually quit.” “Now, what do you want to do?” I chose to pretend, until the day I opened my desk and there was a coiled Rattlesnake looking at me. It wasn’t real, it was an image in plaster, but the first looked scared me to no end, and that was the day the bully no longer even got close to me, because he was beaten up in the classroom and embarrassed because a girl did that, and even though I was sent to see the principle….and had to sit in the hall the rest of the day….it was worth it.

It was freeing. I had handled it myself, and now I was stronger…..no longer afraid….not willing to be a victim anymore. Had the teacher been called into action to handle it, one person would have always had the ability to make me “feel” less competent. I learned that day, that I could take care of myself. I could be strong and courageous.

Our Grandchildren today are not being taught that they are strong, or that they are capable of handling their own problems. We are raising a generation of incompetent kids, that will end up having to be taken care of their whole lives. If we don’t empower our kids now, how in the world are they going to grow up and raise another generation of strong and courageous people….They aren’t!

What does this have to do with disaster? Well, it makes sense that people have to learn to care for themselves and the lessons of childhood, help them do that. Let them learn the lessons so they aren’t sitting and expecting “someone” to take care of them their whole life. Every tough spot we find ourselves in as children and adults will make us more capable of coming out the other side with new found strength and ability to deal with problems. The Bible says that “in this world there will be trouble.” So learning that it happens and that we are to deal with it is the only hope.

God does not expect us to sit around and do nothing and wait for someone to come along and help….He expects us to get up and do it ourselves. If he did he, then the Bible wouldn’t say “ those that don’t work, will not be allowed to eat.”

So what about this disaster business. Some people should be helped….All people need some help….those who don’t ask for or pretend to not need help…should most definitely be helped. Every person has something to learn during and after a disaster has entered their lives. Our job is to help others, and that may come in the form of money, shelter, food, clean-up, encouragement, tears shed together, words of love, a Father in Heaven who loves them and wants to be part of their life, who wants a relationship with them. So many lessons….we also have to learn to say “no” in a disaster. It is not alright to give someone who does nothing but take….more. They have lessons to learn too, and if we keep giving and giving then they will not learn and will not grow stronger.

Disasters are a complete “balancing act”. We are called to help, and feed, and care for each other. What form that takes, is up to each of us. The one thing that we must not do, is to grow weary in well-doing, but be there for people in the way God wants us to. Another thing we must do, is to love our neighbor as ourselves. We must gather with others who have gone through the same thing, and bring encouragement to them.

It has been said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.” In a disaster, you can share the love of Jesus, and help them to know HE is always available, ALWAYS there, Always wanting to be their best friend. He is always there with His Gift of Forgiveness and Eternal Life, and all they have to do is ASK.

So as the days in a disaster time go on, we must pick up the pieces of our lives, give and take, love and wait, and watch and be….All that God has for us to be, so that others can become who God wants them to be!

Blessings to you All,

Prayyior

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Butterflies may be free….

But we are stuck with our choices.

It is interesting how choices work! Do you want Chocolate or Strawberry Ice Cream? Would you prefer to walk or ride? Do you want to fly or take the train? Do you want to obey the rules, or disregard them? Which rules do you want in your life? Rules are a lot like a fence around your yard. Yes, they keep pets and children confined, but they also keep strangers and animals out.
It is interesting how it works. We like our orderly lives and yet we long for a sense of freedom and wild abandon. We find our responsibilities confining. They prevent us from doing some of the things we want to do. Shall we go to work today or should we go fishing? Shopping? Golfing? (more…)

Greed will take us down…..

Have you ever noticed someone who was “greedy”…just wanted everything for themselves and would not entertain a thought for a stranger or even a friend or family member? You probably know someone who is like this….they stand out in a crowd. You can spot them by their comments. It usually starts with blaming someone else for their problems, and it goes from there to I will take care of me and to hell with everyone else.

In principal it is good to take care of ourselves. We ARE the one who is responsible for ourselves. When a disaster strikes, that is exactly when we understand the need to take care of ourselves and those we are responsible for.

We have just experienced and continue to experience a “disaster” to the Valley of the Mouse, it came as a flood. It came because of mistakes, and weather that brought too much rain at the wrong times. It came as part of a plan to prevent what happened from happening.

Now it is time for the rebuilding of a home, a street, a city. Lives have been devastated by it all. Many people will move on, and not try to stay. Some will have no choice but to deed their property back to the bank/lender who is carrying the loans on property. Many want to stay, but see no way to provide the funds to rebuild and still continue to pay on their loans, they can see no way to keep their finances in a stable position. They are responsible for themselves and their families. It is a tough position to be in.

Unfortunately, when times like these come to us, we have choices to make, and some are not, and never will be acceptable to us. We have believed in honor. We take care of our families, and we pay our bills, and we raise our children “right”, so they respect others, and treat people like they want to be treated.

Greed changes all this! Greed comes out when we forget about those around us. It comes out when someone is handing out money or did hand out money and we didn’t get any of it, or we got less than our neighbor. In any event, it is most likely that we will all have to fight ourselves to prevent becoming greedy about what we have and what we are going to do with it.

There is a story of hell, in which you see a big table with delicious food in the middle, just waiting for someone to eat it. No one smiled and each person was mad at someone else. Each person has their own spoon to use, but unfortunately the handle on the spoon is so long that even though they can reach the food, they can’t get it back to their mouths to eat it. Everyone was starving to death.

The same table was in heaven and the people at the table all were smiling and happy and well nourished. They too had the long-handled spoons and could get the food, but could not get it into their mouth. What this group did was to spoon the food using their long-handled spoon, into the mouth of someone on the other side of the table. Each person fed someone else and in return was fed by someone else.

Getting through this flood will require that we help one another….sometimes before we can receive help for ourselves.

When I was growing up, you had to rely upon your neighbors to help you. If you didn’t, then you were done for. How many houses were built by neighbors helping neighbors. When a neighbors barn burned, the whole community got together and built them another barn. Everyone worked free and people donated what they could. It still happens today…someone is hurt on their farm and the neighbors come in and plant their crop for them. Or harvest the crop. Each of us has a role to play in helping each other through this incredible crises.

We cannot rely upon the Government to help us. There may be some funds to assist, but it appears there will not be enough for any one of us to restore our home on the funds we receive. So What Do WE DO?

Can we form a co-op of people who can assist one another without the full cost of hiring someone to do something. Can we find an Electrician who will oversee the wiring of our houses, can we find a carpenter to do finish work? Can we find a heating and plumbing company who will buy our furnaces and sell them to us for a little over cost, and assist us in getting them in? Can we find someone who will negotiate a large purchase of sheet rock or siding or light fixtures? Can we find someone who will sell us a large quantity of breaker boxes and breakers at a little over cost? How about someone who can cook for a large group while this is going on? How about sharing in the labor. If you can’t pound a nail or put in a screw perhaps you can be the person who is coordinating the build.

I am remembering how quickly a house can go up, even today, after watching or being a part of making dreams come true….we all can hear the sound of “Move that bus”. and a new home fully furnished is revealed.

No….this is not the time for greed. It is not a time to think solely of ourselves. Each of us knows someone who is worse off than we are. Each of us knows someone who without help, cannot do it alone. Each of us knows someone who has given so much to others, that needs a helping hand now.

Do I have the answers….No…and may never have them.. but what I do know is that together we can accomplish what we cannot do alone. What I do know is that North Dakotans are strong and resilient people capable of making a plan and making it work. What I do know is that there are thousands of people who would like to help us, if we give them a chance. I also know that if we rely solely upon ourselves and become a greedy people we will lose.

We will lose in that our houses won’t be rebuilt, we will lose in that our character will suffer, and we will become people we don’t like. We will lose in that the lessons we learned from our parents, will be wasted and our Children and Grandchildren will not know the value of “doing for” or “helping” others. We can’t let that happen. If we want the American Dream to continue then we have to do something about it today. We have to begin to make right decisions and the first is how we are going to behave in this crises. We are Americans, and we are Citizens, and we are honorable, we are trustworthy, we are courageous, we are powerful when we stand together, and weak when we fail to stand. We are people who proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, and as Christians we are united to be as He is.

Today is the day for giving HOPE to each other. It is the day for “thinking” about how to make this work. It is the day to begin anew, trusting that God will be there for us, and with him NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! Believe….Trust…. Just Trust….

Blessings to you all…. Prayyior

In this world there will be troubles…but the Lord God delivers us from them all…..
It is strange to recognize how attached we can become to the things we have called our own! There are those “things” “family heirlooms” “treasures” that we have held on to over the years. Always needing to take care of, to move with us when we moved, to find a place for. Things and stuff we would never sell, and rarely give away…..and if we did, only to someone who would treasure them as we have.
It is strange that when they are gone there is a huge relief, along with sadness, and loss.
I used to think I really loved the Lord! There were times when my heart was so full of love for him, that it seemed that nothing else mattered. That’s how it should always be, but the burdens and the cares of the world come upon us, and we take our eyes off of HIM and see troubles or sadness, or belongings, or wonder how ever are we to deal with the problems, the stress, the hurts of the world. We “feel” comfortable in our homes, our jobs, our circle of friends.
Isn’t it strange how the things that change our lives forever always come in a split-second, a minute or an hour? Things change because of accidents, someone’s selfishness or our own….natural or man-made disasters, a decision made in desperation, a choice we know is wrong at the time we make it.
Life is not certain. Everything in the world is changing moment by moment….there is nothing in the physical world that remains unchanged for long. Sometimes the change occurs over time and we barely notice it, and sometimes it happens quickly. We know the moment it happens. Everything we have always had before, is now changed, in a moment….turmoil…hurt….pain…loss…fear.
The things of the world will grow strangely dim….in the light of HIS GLORY and GRACE!
His Glory and Grace will always be there….because the only constant in life is God. He is, was, and always will be…unchanged…..the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
We have to remember that when the storms come…He is there for us. When the earthquakes shake, he is there for us….when volcanos erupt, He is there for us…When the flood comes, He is there for us, totally unchanged, trustworthy, loving, protecting, guiding, wanting desperately for us to come to him, to trust him, to love him, and to know and recognize his peace, his holiness, his protection, his guidance, his healing. It is during the most difficult times of our lives that we must realize that HE has answered our prayers, he has delivered us out of our troubles, and will never leave us or forsake us, and no one or nothing can take us away from HIM….
Feelings are not an adequate truth. There is little truth in feelings…just because we “feel” one way or another, doesn’t make it so……the truth exists only in Christ. Only in the Word of God. When what that Word tells us is opposite of what we are feeling then we have to stand on what He has taught us….HIS TRUTH and only HIS TRUTH, is true. We have to accept it, and move on. We have to draw close to Him and THEN, and only then will He draw close to us.
Today is the day to draw close…how? How do we do that? We speak….we tell him we are coming close….and then as if he is sitting at the table with us….we reach out with our hands to take His…or if it seems like he is further away….across the room…we take one step and another and another….and soon we will be where we need to be, and He will have come close to us. Close to our Lord and our God…In his arms…protected, loved, at peace…the place we have always belonged and longed to be! We have only now…tomorrow is not guaranteed. Now is when we reach out…draw close, and hang on….Now is when we make up our minds to let him be our help in times of trouble. Now is when we choose to trust him. Now is when we rely upon him. Now is the time….to do what we need to do! NOW!