My Thoughts: And a Cherokee Prayer for Wisdom and Self-Control

Great Spirit,
Help me always to speak the truth quietly,
to listen with an open mind
when others speak,
and to remember the peace
that may be found in silence.
~Cherokee Prayer

When I am walking the trail, which I do almost daily, I know that Gods spirit is guiding me, and I realize that I am never alone. This gives me the strength to walk my life-path with confidence and the assurance that whatever decision I make in my life, God is leading me to a good place. I believe that each day, every step I make is part of my dance. I believe that I will always be known by the tracks I have made. If every day is a new dance, I am giving thanks daily for my new direction.

I know that others can never walk my path for me, and only I can walk in these shoes. Some may walk with me, but never walk it for me. For those who walk with me, I am grateful.

Do It Again, Daddy!

“Do it again, Daddy, do it again” All of us have seen children excited about what they have learned, especially when they have conquered a fear. Many of us have been around small children and have taught little ones how to turn fear of the unknown into confidence, through trusting in God.

Below is a Native American story as  told to me by my friend, and fellow flute player, Barry Flory.

In the Native American culture, when a child was four or five, the father would take the child for a walk to a place in the woods that the child had not seen and stop before a tree. The father had this specific tree in mind, as he had done this before with the older ones. He had a plan for this child, using this very tree.

When they arrived at the tree, he would lovingly and securely scoop up the child and begin to climb the tree, instructing the child to hold on, as he himself would climb back down the tree, leaving the child alone on the branch.

Standing safely and solidly on the ground, looking up, the father sees just what he expects to see – his child hanging on tightly with a frightened, uncertain, and confused look on his face. Fear of the unexpected and the unknown was taking hold in the mind of the little child. Suddenly, all was not as it should be, and the child didn’t understand what was happening and why his father would let go of him.

“Daddy, get me down,” cried the child. “No,” explained the father in a kind, but firm voice. “I put you there and gave you only one instruction – to hold on tight. Trust in me and you will be fine right where you are.”

“But Daddy, I’m scared.”  “Do you not trust me to keep you safe?” asks the father firmly. “I’m still scared and I don’t understand why you put me here and left me!” cried the child. “Why don’t you like it up there?” the father asks. “Because I’m afraid I will fall!”  “Didn’t I tell you to hold on tight? Don’t you trust me? Don’t you trust yourself to hold on?”  “Well, I’m going to get tired and I will fall, Daddy.” the child cries frantically.

“Do not fear falling from where I put you, for I am here and I will catch you.” said his father. “No Daddy, I can’t. If I fall, I will get hurt.” Again, the father instructs the child, “You must decide to either stay where I put you and work hard to hang on, or you must fall and have faith in me and believe me when I say that I will catch you.”

“Daddy, I can’t let go. I will fall and I am scared.”  “I’m right here and I will catch you if you fall. I promise and I will not break my promise to you, for I am a good father.” A quiet time passes; a time that seems long to the father, but even longer for the child in the tree, as they contemplate their choices.

As would be expected, the child’s mind tries to find another option. “Daddy, if I can’t let go, and I can’t fall, won’t you come up and get me?” reasons the child. “You must decide from the two choices I gave you, and I will be right here, below you, should you fall.”

Finally, exhausted, the child let go and fell from the tree with a little scream. Of course, the father did what he said he would do and caught the child, pulling him into his arms and holding him close to his heart, giving his brave child comfort. After a while, the child was calm and looked up into his father’s eyes, and said triumphantly, “That made my tummy jump, I was so afraid!”

No further words were shared for a time, as they began their trip home, with the child still in the father’s arms. They hadn’t gone far from the tree when the child spoke, “Daddy?”  “What child?” “ I was scared, but you told me to hang on, and as I got tired, you told me you were right there to catch me so that I would not get hurt if f I fell! I was so scared to fall, and I knew that I would fall. And when I did, it made my tummy jump, and kind of tickled.”  “Yes child, we must all learn to trust. Today, you learned that when you trust in your father, as I trusted in my father, that he will protect you! And, we must all trust in our Creator, our Heavenly Father, who watches over each of us. Someday, child, you will fall again, and someday, Your Heavenly Father will be there to catch you!”

The child spoke again. “Daddy, we are still close to the tree, can we go back and do it again? It was kind of fun! Can we do it again, Daddy?”

Watching an uncertain, scared child work through a situation like this is usually painful for a parent. It is like when a child is learning to ride a bike, part of us wants to keep a hold of the bike to prevent them from falling. Yet, we know we must let go, risking skinned knees and tears,  as we ask them to trust us and be courageous. They grow and gain confidence as they are launched into pedaling and balancing alone.

Following His instructions is not easy. Trusting in Him completely is not easy. Falling is inevitable. However, as He promises to all of us who receive Him, the warm, funny, wonderful feeling that we can find inside ourselves by so doing is incredibly gratifying. So, can we “do it again?” We can if we have faith and courage through him. Trusting in Him takes away our fears!

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. 

~Psalm 62:8

Rainbow, A Sign of Hope and God’s Promises

We have had some amazing rainbows in our neck of the woods lately! I took this photo a couple of nights ago from my front deck. It was exactly what I needed to see on that very day, at that very time. I love it when that happens. God’s Glory, as shown in nature, always leaves me in awe. Thank you, Father.

I have set my rainbow in the clouds,
and it shall be a sign of the covenant
between me and the earth.
Genesis 9:13

I also love this Hopi Indian quote: The rainbow is a sign from Him who is in all things. ~Hopi

A.A. Milne Quote About Perseverance and Patience

I love this quote about perseverance and patience from A.A. Milne, the author and creator of Winnie the Pooh.

Rivers know this: there is no hurry.
We shall get there some day.~A.A. Milne

This is also the way of the Native American culture.

My Thoughts: Love is the Answer, Cherokee Prayer, and Bible Verses on Love!

The Bible addresses the topic of LOVE many times. It is so easy to pass judgment. We all do it continually and it often leads to fear, which leads to hatred and more. I’m striving to replace my judgment with love. Here are a few verses that I find helpful to remember when I am tempted to start judging those whom I do not understand.

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs. ~Proverbs 10:12

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born from a time of adversity. ~Proverbs 17:17

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. ~1 John 3:16-18

Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. ~Romans 13:10

Cherokee Prayer

A simple, yet profound Cherokee prayer. Have a peaceful day!

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
~James 1:19

O’ Great Spirit
help me always
to speak the truth quietly,
to listen with an open mind
when others speak,
and to remember the peace
that may be found in silence.
~Cherokee Prayer

Bible Verse and Hopi Quote about Rainbows

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. ~Genesis 9:13

The rainbow is a sign
from Him who is in all things.

Native American Proverb

Listen to the wind, it talks.
Listen to the silence, it speaks.
Listen to your heart, it knows.
Native American Proverb

Nature Quote, By Joseph Campbell

The goal of life is to
make your heartbeat
match the beat
of the universe,
to match your nature with Nature.
~Joseph Campbell

Adopt the Pace of Nature

Adopt the pace of nature:
her secret is patience.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson