Here are two poems I would like to share. My “Sprouting Poem” was written this week while I was in a state of physical retraction from the cold of this Fall season bearing down on me. Often when my body slows down, it clenches up in a desperate attempt to keep warm. This tightening is accompanied by an overactive mind looking for comfort but unwilling to quiet down. I did not want to merely put my thoughts to rest or dismiss them, but rather I want to let them string themselves out like a chain of beads that then coils up in a basket when they have finally exhausted themselves. I am so relieved when my thoughts come to rest in the realization that God must be in charge because I cannot possibly manage this without Him.
The “Sprouting Poem” is followed by a beautiful and uplifting poem that a friend sent me many years ago. It is called “Desiderata” and it is written by Max Ehrmann. It is so good.
~ A poem that sprouted out of a crowded mind ~
To gain wisdom and clarity.
To set goals but not become obsessed and trapped in the expectations.
To realize the Love that is loving already and to need nothing more.
Wrapping myself up in the guiltily purchased handwoven blanket of dreams and hopes,
wondering if it was a good investment.
Who says? Who determines the little things we do,
Which commandments do my small decision-making motives fall into?
Wanting myself to feel and know the God who holds His arms under mine when I am faltering.
When I am stirring and wiping and stewing.
Even when I am dancing.
A beautiful realization enters my mind,
But where is there space in my life for it?
How do I clean out an area that is already endless,
Isn’t there enough room for everything, the mess and imperfectness as well as peace and quiet?
Lord, I see Your earth; Your nature coexisting with amazing balance.
I long for this in the relationships we humans have.
Why are we so distorted and short footed.
Why did Eve long for more, and now I suffer in the lie of scarcity…..
And want.. and want.. and want, to the point where my longing spoils my passions and goals.
Clear me out, and sort my threads.
Show me wisdom and clarity in such a simple way
That I can not doubt You or myself. Then each time it gets dark I can remember You.
(When I read this following poem, I hear the Lord’s gentle guidance in it and it helps me when life gets too confusing. It sorts the many parts into a beautiful order. I hope it can bring courage and warmth to you if you are needing it.)
~ Desiderata ~ By Max Ehrmann
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.