Tuesday, February 9, 2010


One of my favorite poems, since learning it in junior high, is "If" by Rudyard Kipling. The poem asks a series of thought provoking questions starting with the word "if". One of those questions from the poem that I particularly appreciate has to do with the challenge of dealing with life's highs and lows.

"If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;"

Life has a way of whipsawing us between false extremes that get us feeling artificially up or down. Giving too much heed to either can invite extreme ease or extreme tenseness--both debilitating conditions in their own right.

I've certainly felt shaken like a rag doll as I've tried to get my bearings with what's happening to Talitha. We're learning to take in information as it comes without the knee jerk reaction to slant it as either good or bad. When we do, we notice our capacity is enlarged and the information received can be utilized to make better decisions from a larger set of data points. (When we don't, fear leads to shock which interferes with the ability to think and make decisions.)

A dear friend of ours "coincidently" sent an email tonight with a great example of what I'm feeling and seeing as we watch Talitha's story unfold:

"There was once a wise Chinese man who had one son, one horse, and one acre of ground on which he made his living. One day his son went out to feed the horse and left the gate open and the horse ran away. All of the man's friends and neighbors came to him and said, 'Oh that's too bad. You've lost your only horse. How will you make your living?' The wise Chinese man just said 'I don't know if that's bad or that's good.' But they insisted it was bad.

"A few days later, the horse got thirsty and came back to the corral bringing 9 other wild horses with him. Now all his friends came over and said 'Oh, isn't that good. You've got 10 horses.' The wise Chinese man said 'I don't know if that's bad or good.' And they insisted it was good.

"A few days later, the wise Chinese man's son went out to break one of the wild horses. In the process, the horse reared up and came down, severely breaking the son's leg. This time all the neighbors came over and said 'Oh, that's too bad. That's your only son. What will you do?' And again the wise Chinese man said 'I don't know if that's bad or good.' And they insisted it was bad.

"A short time later, war broke out in the country. The government came through and gathered up all the able-bodied young men and marched them off to war where they were all killed.

"This story can go on and on. This story belongs to all of us. It's our story too...It's important to reserve judgement and trust in the Lord and His plan."

We can certainly see that with Talitha's story. There's more than enough drama to have you up and down and all over the place...all the time. The important thing is we are seeing the Lord's hand and that is helping us to be more calm and keep moving forward with faith.
Talitha is doing great. Her appetite is back and she's drinking much, much better. Thank you for your prayers!

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