Saturday, February 05, 2011
Perseverance — Just Keep Planting
Just Keep Planting
When Paul was a boy growing up in Utah, he happened to live near an old copper smelter, and the sulfur dioxide that poured out of the refinery had made a desolate wasteland out of what used to be a beautiful forest. Paul vowed that some day he would bring back the life to this land.
Many years later Paul was in the area, and he went to the smelter office. He asked if they had any plans to bring the trees back. The answer was “No.” He asked them if they would let him try to bring the trees back. Again, the answer was “No.” They didn’t want him on their land. After praying about the matter, Paul realized he needed to become more knowledgeable before anyone would listen to him, so he went to college to study botany.
At the college he met a professor who was an expert in Utah’s ecology. Unfortunately, Paul was told that the wasteland he wanted to bring back was beyond hope. He was told that his goal was foolish because even if he planted trees, and even if they grew, the wind would only blow the seeds forty feet per year, and that’s all you’d get because there weren’t any birds or squirrels to spread the seeds, and the seeds from those trees would need another thirty years before they started producing seeds of their own. Therefore, it would take approximately twenty thousand years to revegitate that six-square-mile piece of earth. His teachers told him it would be a waste of his life to try to do it. It just could not be done.
So he tried to go on with his life. He got a job operating heavy equipment, got married, and had some kids. However, as a good Christian, he knew that “faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17). So, he kept studying about the subject, and prayed for guidance on the matter. Then one night he felt led to take action by faith alone. He would do what he could, and trust God to do the rest. This was an important turning point.
Samuel Johnson wrote, “It is common to overlook what is near by keeping the eye fixed on something remote. In the same manner, present opportunities are neglected and attainable good is slighted by minds busied in extensive ranges.” Paul stopped busying his mind in extensive ranges and looked at what opportunities for attainable good were right in front of him. Who among us hasn’t wondered what God wants us to do in our life here on earth? Under the cover of darkness, Paul sneaked out into the wasteland with a backpack of seedlings and started planting. For seven hours he planted seedlings.
He did it again a week later. And every week, he made his secret journey into the wasteland and planted trees and shrubs and grass. But most of it died. Like so many of our hopes and dreams. However, Paul had faith, and kept planting.
For fifteen years he did this. When a whole valley of his fir seedlings burned to the ground because of a careless sheep-herder, Paul broke down and wept. Have any of you had this kind of set-back in your life? I sure have! But Paul got up, and kept planting.
Freezing winds and blistering heat, landslides and floods and fires destroyed his work time and time again. But he kept planting. One night he found a highway crew had come and taken tons of dirt for a road grade, and all the plants he painstakingly planted in that area were gone. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like the way things have gone in my life. Time for some major prayers. Then Paul kept planting.
Week after week, year after year he kept at it, against the opinion of the authorities, against the trespassing laws, against the devastation of road crews, against the wind and rain and heat… even against plain common sense. He just kept planting.
Slowly, very slowly, things began to take root. Then gophers appeared. Then rabbits. Then porcupines. The copper smelter eventually gave him permission, and later, as times were changing and there was political pressure to clean up the environment, the company actually hired Paul to do what he was already doing. They even provided him with machinery and crews to work with. Progress accelerated.
Now the place is fourteen thousand acres of trees, grass, bushes, as well as all kinds of wildlife. Paul has now received almost every environmental award Utah has. He says, “I thought that if I got this started, when I was dead and gone people would come and see it. I never thought I’d live to see it myself!”
It took him until his hair turned white, but he managed to keep that impossible vow he made to himself as a child.
What was/is it you want to do, that you think is impossible? Paul’s story sure gives a perspective on things, doesn’t it?
The way you get something accomplished in this world is to trust God for guidance, and just keep planting. He will show you the way if you have faith, and keep working. Just keep plugging away at it one day at a time for a long time, no matter who criticizes or laughs at you, no matter how long it takes, no matter how many times you fall. Get back up again, keep trusting God, and just keep planting.
Friday, January 28, 2011
"The Train of Life"
Some folks ride the train of life looking out the rear,
Watching miles of life roll by and marking every year.
They sit in sad remembrance of wasted days gone by,
And curse their life for what it was and hang their head and cry.
But I don't concern myself with that, I took a different vent,
I look forward to what life holds and not what has been spent.
So strap me to the engine, as securely as I can be,
I want to be out on the front, to see what I can see.
I want to feel the winds of change, blowing in my face,
I want to see what life unfolds, as I move from place to place.
I want to see what's coming up, not looking at the past,
Life's too short for yesterdays, it moves along too fast.
So if the ride gets bumpy, while you are looking back,
Go up front, and you may find, your life has jumped the track.
It's all right to remember, that's part of history,
But up front's where it's happening, there's so much mystery.
The enjoyment of living is not where we have been,
It's looking ever forward to another year and ten.
It's searching all the byways, never should you refrain,
For if you want to live your life, you gotta drive the train.
~By Marv Hardin
Friday, January 21, 2011
LIFE IS A MIRACLE
Life is a miracle don't let it slip away,
Open your heart to others, give of yourself each day.
See the beauty in everyone, regardless of where they've been,
Some have a difficult journey and really need a friend.
Share your gifts and talents, listen with your heart.
Do the things you dream about but don't have time to start.
Pick a bouquet of flowers, show someone that you care,
Be gracious and forgiving, for life is never fair.
Hold on to your courage, you may need it down the road,
We all have a cross to bear, it could be a heavy load.
If you practice all these things, wherever you may roam,
You might find both sun and rain, but you'll never feel alone!
~ Author Unknown
Friday, January 07, 2011
LIGHT YOUR CANDLE FOR THE NEW YEAR
Light the candle in your soul,
Carry it into the dark.
If you find a flame that's lost its glow
Light it with a spark.
The flame only grows brighter
When it gives another light,
And a billion burning candles
Can drive away the night.
Believe in yourself to the depth of your being,
Nourish the talents your spirit is freeing.
Know in your heart when the going gets slow,
That your faith in yourself will continue to grow.
Don't forfeit ambition when others may doubt,
It's your life to live, you must live it throughout.
Learn from your errors, don't dwell in the past,
Never withdraw from a world that is vast.
Believe in yourself, find the best that is you,
Let your spirit prevail, "Steer a course that is true."
Hold up your candle for all to see,
Reach from shore to shore,
And light the world with kindness
Now and forever more!
Light Your Candle & Believe In Yourself
2 Combined Poems by Authors Unknown
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