Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.
A highly successful friend told me the other day that she never has time for much more than chasing success. Not long after we talked I heard a story about a man who went to his Rabbi and said that no matter how fast he ran he could not catch up with what life had to offer; the Rabbi’s response was that we need to stop once in awhile and let life catch up with us. That reminded me that over the years I have learned that always chasing the rainbow is often a waste of time and if we linger long enough the rainbow is just as likely to come to us.
I do believe that if we stay in place once in awhile we often will see more, enjoy more and best of all, accomplish more. I told my friend that I always felt that the best time to take a vacation is when you have convinced yourself you can’t. It is the same with life’s race, if you run too fast for too long you will collapse with exhaustion and possibly lose the race while never seeing the scenery. Life is more important than just a job. We need to stop and look at what it has to offer nearby rather than always looking for it over the next hill.
The following piece I got from someone’s blog, it was originally written in Chinese. Its author is unknown. The author brilliantly and humorously tells the story of life and death to help us understand the importance of stopping, standing still and looking around.
Let “Living” Catch Up With You
There was once a man who was very afraid of death. He wondered: “Is ‘death’ in front of me? Or is it behind me?”
He recalled that people are always running forward when death comes, such as in plane crashes and car accidents. Animals are also running to flee for their lives when they are being hunted. Animals are never retreating when they lose their lives, so death pursues from behind.
He came to an important conclusion: ”The only way not to be killed or let death catch up with you is to run faster and more hastily.” So every day he was always in a hurry. Whether eating, working, or walking, he did everything three times faster than he used to.
One day, while he was rushing to go on a journey, an old man with a white beard suddenly stopped him. The old man asked him: “Why are you in such hurry? What are you chasing?”
He said: “I am not chasing something, but escaping something!”
“What do you want to escape?” the old man asked.
The old man said: “How do you know death is behind you?”
He answered: “Because it’s when animals are running to flee for their lives that death catches up with them.”
The old man said: “You are wrong! Death does not chase you from the starting point, but is waiting for you at the finish line. No matter whether you run fast or slow, you will eventually reach the end. ”
He asked: “How do you know?”
“Because I am the messenger of Death!” said the old man.
The man was stunned and said: “You appear before me tonight. Does this mean my time is up?”
He said: “Oh! Don’t be afraid. Your time has not yet come, but you have been going too fast. My brother, “Living,” has been complaining to me that he can’t catch up with you. If you don’t meet up with him, aren’t you dead? He specifically asked me to tell you to slow down!”
“How do I meet up with ‘Living’?”
The old man said: “First of all, you have to stand still. Calm your mind, and look around. nderstand with your heart. Feel with love and appreciate with all your might, so that ‘Living’ will be able to catch up with you.“
When he slowed down, the old man said: “Look back. My brother is coming.” He turned around. The old man was gone, but a beautiful street scene that he had never seen before appeared before him.
It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis.
A young couple met with their pastor to set a date for their wedding. When he asked whether they preferred a contemporary or a traditional service, they opted for the contemporary.
On the big day, a major storm forced the groom to take an alternate route to the church. The streets were flooded, so he rolled up his pants legs to keep his trousers dry.
When he finally reached the church, his best man rushed him into the sanctuary and up to the altar, just as the ceremony was starting. “Pull down your pants,” whispered the pastor. “Uh, Reverend, I’ve changed my mind,” the groom responded. “I think I would prefer the traditional service.”
I’ve got a mind like a.. a.. what’s that thing called?
A couple were being interviewed on their Golden Wedding Anniversary. “In all that time, did you ever consider divorce?” they were asked.”
“Oh, no, not divorce,” one said. “Murder sometimes, but never divorce.”
The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life.
“Why,” I answered without a thought, “now.”
In the smoking-car the conversation turned to the merits and demerits of various ways of preserving health. One stout, florid man held forth with great eloquence on the subject.
“Look at me!” he said. “Never a day’s sickness in my life, and all due to simple food. Why, gentlemen,” he continued, “from the age of twenty to that of forty I lived an absolutely simple regular life—-no effeminate delicacies, no late hours, no extravagances. Every day, in fact, summer and winter, I was in bed regularly at nine o’clock and up again at five in the morning. I worked from eight to one, then had dinner–a plain dinner, mark my words: after that, an hour’s exercise; then.”
“Excuse me, sir,” interrupted the facetious stranger in the corner, “but what were you in prison for?”
Believe in miracles, but don’t depend on them.
On the Beach, a poacher was stopped by a game warden who said he’d be fined for taking lobsters without a permit. “What do you mean?” the man said. “I didn’t break the law. These lobsters are my pets. I’m just going for a walk with them.”
“Nonsense,” the game warden replied.
“It’s true,” said the man. “They go into the surf for a swim, and when I whistle they come back to me.”
“This I’ve got to see,” the game warden said. So the man tossed both of the lobsters out into the waves and the game warden said, “Okay. Now lets hear you whistle for your pet lobsters to swim back to you.”
“Lobsters?” asked the poacher. “What lobsters?”
The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.
More church bulletin bloopers:
Don’t let worry kill you – let the church help.
Thursday night – Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.
For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.
The rosebud on the alter this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer.
This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.
Tuesday at 4:00 PM there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.
Wednesday, the ladies Liturgy Society will meet. Mrs. Jones will sing, “Put me in My Little Bed” accompanied by the pastor.
Thursday at 5:00 PM there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become little mothers, please see the minister in his study.
Eternity is not something that begins after you are dead. It is going on all the time.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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