So Much Beauty

In the early morning light I see so much beauty.
I focus on what's above
Not what is below
and I see a perfect world.
In the quiet of the first blush of dawn I feel life
on the empty streets.
There is no sound
to interrupt the flow of how things were meant to be.
I marvel at the clear sky that hold untold secrets.
Secrets that will never be discovered -
they were never meant to be.
There is so much beauty everywhere!

Alone in the dark just before dawn breaks,
I feel so safe.
There is no one to judge nor truth to make up,
nothing but the beauty of the creator.
As the coconut trees compliment the skies
I alive
to the wonder of how small I can be
and how great I Am.
There is so much beauty everywhere!

Nothing has been added yet,
to distort what you see.
Just the fresh crisp air as your company.
The silence has grace form and yes
There is no need to be afraid of what you cannot see.
There is so much beauty everywhere!

The most beautiful scars
with the most beautiful treasures.
The finest presents
that can never
be stolen
that can never be bought
or controlled.
It belongs to no one and everyone.
There is so much beauty everywhere!

In those quiet moments
all wrongs are forgotten
all wounds healed.
All imperfections perfect,
there is no room for lies or deceit.
In those silent moments
you can reclaim your humanity
snatch that reflection and make it real.
There is so much beauty everywhere!

In the stillness of early morning
when the whole world sleeps;
when all you have is the evidence of the Creator,
You can see and breath.

Beauty forgotten. Beauty reclaimed.
- S. Grant 2020
Silhouette of Tree during Golden Hour

Ride It Out.

 Ride out your storm
God is there with you
You may not feel him
But you're not alone
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It is so easy to stop and let the waves sweep you away when you’re overwhelmed by its size.

This is especially true if you’ve been there all along trying to put out the little fires that suddenly appear, that threaten to burn away all that you have been able to accomplish. So, when you think that you finally figured out how to put out the fire, along comes the water.

The trickle of water appears and you think to yourself, “oh well at least the place wont be so dry.” However, the water keeps coming. Then all of a sudden there are waves that fill your vision, until that is all you can see.

At this point you start thinking about the fact that you cannot swim and there are no life jackets near by. You look all around and see no one whose hand you can grab, to save you. Just when you decided to let the waves take you, wherever it wants to take you. But, something deep deep down, something forgotten, yells telling you to swim.

Then somewhere, some how along comes the ability to swim. Even though the water fills you to bursting you cannot stop swimming. You swim when you’re tired, when your breathing starts then stop. You swim even when you feel the sharks circling, ready to consume. You swim even though all feeling has left your body and you know for sure you will die. A strength you never knew you had prevents you from stopping, when your body has been shredded into a million pieces.

 You're hurting now
But your morning is coming
Just hold on to Jesus
And ride out your storm
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 “When there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.”

African Proverb

Is it then true that the only locked doors we have are the ones we construct in our minds? Is it as simple as this?

It’s hard to know what’s true, but what is true about each of us is that our minds are the most powerful and valuable possession we have. It is also true that if we do not use our minds for good, it will turn on us. It will produce what we plant there and can either build or destroy our dreams.

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It’s hard to know what to do when you’re the only one complaining. When you’re the only one who see something more, just out of reach, if only so many eyes were not looking at you, judging, waiting to tell you, “you see, it was all a bad dream, it will never be”. It is hard to keep going when you do not trust the process and your doubt s block your vision. It makes you sick to your stomach, when you look away from the Light that has kept you for so long, and look instead into a bottomless pit. You may smile, but we know that behind that smile is a helpless quivering mass of human frailty and fragility.

Do not quit they say, even when you are staring death in the face. If you do then you will surely die. Do not give up. even if physically, your body betrays you, because if your mind does that too – let’s not imagine that!

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Let us not imagine, with a damaged vision, where we do not want to be. Instead let us focus on where we want to be so we can get there. Focus on what you can be and not what you are, especially in the eyes of others. Outside of God, your future depends on you and no one else. Anyone can give you advice but no one knows you better than you can know yourself. Be good being you, and do what you are being led to do by the Holy Spirit, even if no one can understand, that’s okay.

It is good to be an outsider, because you will always add something interesting to a predictable mix. Decide to follow the path that is for you and confidently go forward. With any storm you face, God will bring all that is good.

Also, here’s a secret you may not know or have forgotten:

In the midst of life we do not die but become transformed by the renewing of our minds.

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Be Flexible.

Sometimes we have our hearts set on what we think we want or need. However, it is when we are most desperate in pursuing what we want, that we should be flexible, so we bend and not break.

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Being rigid in our opinions and thoughts should not be how we live our lives. This is dangers. It is dangerous because it means we are not willing to change and learn from the mistakes of the past. We need to realize that we have limited power, to order our world, unless we rely on the wisdom of God and His power to strengthen us.

It’s easy to believe in our own power when things seem to be going our way. We slowly begin to replace God with our own sense of self importance. Then, we no longer thank God for what he does for us but instead boast “hey look at what I did”.

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It is often times when we are most blind to our faults that life steps in and reminds us of our humanity, our mortality. We are attacked by diseases, doubts and anxieties that seem to flow like a never ending river. We are swept along and taken to places we never imagined we would end up and we have to be alright with this.

We have to be alright when our plans fail, because we did not consult God. When we leave Him behind and jump off the ledge, He may allow us to fall, but He will always, in His own time and in His own way, provide us with the means of getting back up. We will just have to accept that things are not going to workout the way we want it to –

But things will work out.

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Perfect Timing.

Is there really a perfect time to do anything? I use to think so, but now I’m not so sure. Maybe the idea of the perfect time does not rest with luck but with us.

We seem to belief that things happen by chance – well some of us do. Therefore, we sit back and wait for the perfect opportunity to move, to chase things down or receive what’s always been coming to us. When none of that happens we instead fall back on the comfortable cushion of, “it wasn’t the right time guys”. For some of us when we never see what we want to see, it never ever will be the right time.

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It will never be the perfect timing because we have cultivated a negative perspective of our circumstances. Sometimes when we are waiting for the right time, we do not realize that things have been happening to and around us and worse still that the perfect timing was always there, waiting for us to seize it, before it left us because of our inactivity. We feel we will make a move when we are ready but on our own, we will never be ready.

Does it mean we have to act on everything right away? I also do not think we need to grab whatever comes and run with it. We really need to think about what we are getting into before we commit. There is real value in waiting, because it is what is required at the time. But if we pass up opportunities because we are waiting for the perfect time then this reason alone is flawed. The opportunity that you think is a great one that just came at the wrong time according to you, may never come your way again. Maybe it’s not up to you to determine the right time. If you prayed for something and you are given it, why then do you refuse to accept it because for you it came ten days too early? That thinking is madness, and don’t worry it is a madness That I too have been guilty of.

How often do the stars align? Here is what I think, everything will never come together perfectly. Thinking about it, do we really need that to happen. Don’t we get more excitement out of the journey than the destination? Or maybe not, but the idea that things happen perfectly, only happens in a perfect world and we don’t have one. Also guess what? Stars are usually aligned, and will always be, as long as they are around. So too, you will find that there is no grand event that will make you rich, successful or happy. The opportunities have already been set aside for us by God, all we have to do is to forget the perfect time and reach for them in time.

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Living With Extremes.

Most of us think in extremes and therefore live in extremes. We will not admit it but there it is none the less. We have been gifted it, we developed it and carefully craft it as a “all or nothing” mentality. Having such a mind set leads to more and more stress and eventually off our course.

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We either stifle the dreams or the potential we have with our uncompromising attitudes, slashing at items and actions that have not been perfectly conceived or executed from the jump. I have seen how this has compromised my own development as a person. I believed that if something was not done right, forget it and give up. However, the idea to “do it right or not at all” is often times taken the wrong way in my estimation.

The phrase is usually seen as a call to striving until you achieve your goal. However, it can also be taken to mean that we don’t make a move until we know we are doing things perfectly. This mindset does not believe in learning as you go, but breezing through unhindered because you waited for the right time, the right set of circumstance and with everything you need already laid out before you. From this angle then, something that could have taken a few days, takes months or even years. By then, ironically, you have succumbed to the not at all aspect to the phrase unintentionally, and begin to wonder where the time went.

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“Anything doing is worth doing well”, is true also. But we can’t expect everything to go the way we want them to go. So, we say we are waiting until things are perfect! What, gives us the idea that we can do anything perfectly? We give ourselves too much credit. Therefore, we delay because we are waiting until things are right and end up with the wrong P. We end up with PROCRASTINATION instead of PERFECTION.

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Those among us who operate in extremes can do so for the wrong reasons. We cannot see when we are wrong and so continue down a path that really is a circular maze, with no beginning and no ending. We continuously find ourselves in the same place and wonder each time how we ended up here. We ask ourselves and others why we have not advanced further and find every excuse and no solution.

Many have noted the good aspects to being extreme, in that it can lead to success and give you a sense of purpose. However, if living by an extreme mindset has limited us, maybe we need to take one step at a time instead of thinking that by working out the science long enough, we can jump the whole staircase to get to the top.

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Just So…

…We have not wings, we cannot soar;
      But we have feet to scale and climb
By slow degrees, by more and more,
      The cloudy summits of our time.

The mighty pyramids of stone
      That wedge-like cleave the desert airs,
When nearer seen, and better known,
      Are but gigantic flights of stairs.

The distant mountains, that uprear
      Their solid bastions to the skies,
Are crossed by pathways, that appear
      As we to higher levels rise.

The heights by great men reached and kept
      Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
      Were toiling upward in the night.

From: The Ladder of St. Augustine by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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The poem, The Ladder of St. Augustine, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is a reminder that nothing happens before it’s time. The old adage, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, applies to all of us as we traverse this life. However, once a goal or dream is achieved, it will remain in the minds, hearts and eyes of those who experience it directly or indirectly. It also reminds us of our humanity. The fact that we can only operate within the limits of our capabilities and not vicariously through others. further, each person will reach their destination at different times and such a destination may be in different locales, some higher than others.

Standing on what too long we bore
      With shoulders bent and downcast eyes,
We may discern — unseen before —
      A path to higher destinies,

Nor deem the irrevocable Past
      As wholly wasted, wholly vain,
If, rising on its wrecks, at last
      To something nobler we attain.

This very motivational poem also reminds us of the need to move on from the wrecks which impede us on our journey. Instead of being buried under the rubble we must stand on them; make them our stepping stones when the path is covered by the landmines we are aware of and those we are not. To see the past, not as something to be ashamed of, but something that has provided us with the tools that we need, to navigate the uncertainty of the present and possibilities of the future.

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