“Two men looked out from prison bars,
One saw the mud, the other saw stars.”
Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
The old guys in the little area where I grew up, actually where I lived, I grew up later, used to say along Dale’s line, “I’ll tell you it’s all in how you look at it.” Many of them knew the saying but lacked the inner knowledge to apply it. Being down in the mouth was their habitual manner, and I am afeared the malady is catching far too many American Christians.
Several thousand men are actually in the Federal Prison here in Terre Haute. And a few of them do look through bars and see the stars of possibility. They take the attitude of Joseph in Egypt or Daniel in Babylon and see the tremendous opportunity of being a help instead of a pain. Their contribution to the harmony of the situation often makes a difference where they are.
And that’s one of the ideas I want to communicate, if we are going to make a difference we have to do it where we are, with what we have, in the time allotted.
Viktor Frankl learned that it’s possible to find meaning in the most hopeless places and situations on earth while he was imprisoned in several of Hitler’s Concentration Camps.
You could write all day and night about the several thousand men in the Federal Prison. But the principles that work for them to find meaning in it all, are the very same ones that will work for the even more thousands who live and work in the greater, unchained area.
By this I mean the terrible reality that people, by and large, look through the window of life and rather than beholding the stars, they focus on the mud, the mud of their existence, the mud of their marriage. You get the idea. It’s all in how you look at it.
Often in working with people who are ready to “throw in the towel,” I see the humor in their situation, which is easier to do than to see the humor in mine. The other day a man came and moaned that his wife really gets on his nerves and even hurts his feelings. I offered a little humorous advice in telling him to thank God that through the medium of his wife’s nerve wracking behavior, he is still aware that he has nerves, and at his age, he can still feel. It seemed funny, but then we thought of the men who join us in our dotage, men who, as stated in scripture are past feeling, past being hurt, and like Zombies walk through the rest of their God given life as a member of the living dead.
Take thought of John 10:10 the 2nd part where Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” To enjoy the life Jesus is talking about it is important to look through whatever window and see the stars of the Lord.
Copyright © 2015 Larry Lilly
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