life

Must Bust: a #haiku

This week’s challenge from Ronovan Writes was truly a challenge for me! The prompt words are “must” and “bust”, which go pave me a few initial ideas- none of which I could make work. So I backed up, regrouped, and came up with one that did, though I’d say it’s far from my best piece.

life is filled with “musts”
often ending up as “busts”
I hit one more time

As you can see, the three lines make up two separate sentences, in this case totally unrelated it seems. But maybe it’s better than I give it credit for: What do you think?

A Change of Luck: a #haiku/#haibun

Sometimes I feel stuck in a rut, like things are just out of sorts for me. I know that eventually things will change though, they have to: tides shift, seasons change, and so do our situations. I feel like I’m on the verge of one of those changes now, too. 

I can’t help but hope

My luck will change very soon-

Go from bad to worse!

Inspired by Ronovan Writes weekly challenge. 

Life Verse

The Three Day Quote Challenge is long over but, as I said before, I have so many quotes, both from individuals and Scripture, that I love I’m going to continue writing about them sporadically (at least). 

Today is like to share what I call my “life verse”:

John 6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

“Life verse” may not be the best way to describe it but it’s a term I think many can relate to so I’ll use it. Let me explain why this verse is so special to me. 

Several years ago I was wrestling with God over my calling to the ministry. I had a lot of excuses, too, in my “fight” that I tried to use: my disability and chronic pain makes me unreliable at times, I’m not that learned, I have no formal education/training to be a minister, and those were just my starters; I had a lot more. 

During this time I was reading the Gospel of John; I don’t remember now if I was studying or just reading devotionally at the time. When I came to this verse in the the sixth chapter it grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I read it over and over again, by itself, in context with the text, and couldn’t get past it. I searched every cross reference I could find, through commentaries, Bible encyclopedias, and every resource I had or could find to see what I was missing here, why I was so “stuck” on this verse. Nothing helped, shed no light on it. Eventually I tried to just go on and leave it alone – but it literally kept me up at night, knowing there was something there that I wasn’t seeing!

After a few mostly sleepless nights, I returned to this verse and my search for its meaning to me. I prayed fervently for insight from the Holy Spirit, certain He would reveal to me what I needed to see. And He did – after s few more days of searching and petition. 

In a topical Bible I had, that I forgot I even owned, I finally found a hint; this verse was listed under the topic of “God’s Economy”. I remember the feeling I had: a warmth that crept up my back, up my neck, up the back of my head, tingling gently as it went (though I recall it vividly it’s not easy to explain how I felt in words). Then a light went on: This verse was telling my my position in God’s economy! I was sure (and, really, I had been, to be honest, for a while) that God was calling me to a life of ministering His Word to His people. And I announced that call within days afterwards. 

It’s been a little over five years now since I finally accepted God’s call for my life. And many things have happened and changed in that time, trials and triumphs both. I have learned much since then; I have much more to learn. My ministry has changed and is continuing to change; anything that is alive must change, I think, or it will die off. I was scared to death when I began this journey and I still have some anxiety, not knowing what God has planned for me next. Looking at the shifts in my place in His economy over the past few years wows me and makes me eager as I am anxious to know the next step on this journey.  But I trust Him explicitly and know if I follow obediently all will be well. 

It’s still an amazing thing, to me, how the Spirit can use the smallest, almost obscure thing (me and this one verse, for examples) to guide and show someone where they are supposed to be. Of course that person has to be open to His prompting or they’ll not even hear the “still small voice” at all, let alone the call to action. 

Life is a Journey 

Browsing my feed this morning, I found a quote-prompt from A Prompt Each Day that I liked:

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It reminded me of a haiku I wrote not too long ago and I thought I’d re-publish it linked to this quote.

 
* I apologize for the unfinished post immediately published before this one; I goofed! LOL  

Truth: a haiku/haibun

When a person is afflicted with a life-changing condition, compounded by chronic ailments, at a relatively young age, a time when they are supposed to be in the prime of their life, it hurts: It hurts in a lot of ways. We look around at times and wonder, even ask, “Why? Why this and why me?”  Often it is only in our minds we question why, but occasionally the question becomes a cry – outloud. Every so often these times stretch from what is a basic sadness and frusteration into period of self-pity. And self-pity is no good, at any time, never being productive and often leading to a worsening of the overall situation. 

It is when these rare times of self-pity encompass me that Truth* steps in and shows me where I really am and where I easily could have been. I’m thankful for these “interventions”, snapping me back to reality. Because in truth, I am far more blessed than I should be, in far better shape than I’m supposed to be in, and far better off than many folks.

self-pity screams out
life – how unfair -look around
Truth – I’m so blessed

* Truth is capitalized here on purpose, for I am referring to God the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth as He is sometimes called. 

Linked to Haiku Horizons week 65 writing prompt “fair”.

Tan Renga Challenge #84

Well friends, it’s been quite the week at the old home place for me: busy, sick, injured, I could go on but – honestly – I doubt you want to hear it! LOL

I’ve had little to no time or energy to write this week; I missed several days that I may try to catch up, we shall see.  But I always look forward to the tan renga on Friday and this week is no exception. So I’m literally making the time, taking pauses to save the post as I go, to participate in this challenge tonight. As a side note, I’m not sure why it is that I have a fondness for this style but I certainly do.

The prompt provided by CDHK is the first three lines with the remainder of the piece being my writing. You can find more information on all things haiku and this particular challenge here.

from a treetop
emptiness dropped down
in a cicada shell

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Seventeen years brings forth life
Only weeks to savor it

© Greg Wolford 

Although I’m not a fan of the cicadas, there is something profoundly sad to think of the time they spend “coming to life” only to survive for such a wee period of time. In a way, their life-cycle is a bit of a mirror of ours: We spend years learning, growing, gaining wisdom, and so forth and, for most folks I think, just about the time we start to “come up” or really get it our time is up … or very near so.

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”
James 4:14 (NLT)

BeWoT: a #BeWoW on Thursday 

BeWoW is a blogging movement, no, phenomenon started by Ronovan the Great (yeah, that’s my moniker, not his, and it’s sincere not a “jab”). Here’s a blurb from his idea:

BeWoW stands for Be Wonderful on Wednesday. But really you don’t have to wait for Wednesdays. The idea is to post something about Wonderful on Wednesdays, though. It could be a  wonderful experience you had last week, a wonderful memory that came to you, something inspirational or motivational, maybe something encouraging, or just something that brings a feeling of wonderful to you that you want to share.

You can read more on his post explaining all about it. 

Now, onto my BeWoT or belated BeWoW!

I suffer from a lot of chronic ailments; in fact I began blogging and writing haiku again to have something to do while I’m sidelined from my regular hobbies. The last few days have been pretty rough so I’m late with my post … but that’s not wonderful nor inspirational so we shall leave it there. 

I am never ceased to be amazed by the genuine love, concern, and compassion I witness, and sometimes take part in, through the virtual communities I belong to, which range from other bloggers to professional-master-level leather crafters, and lots of folks in between. 

From the encouragement I receive on my writing, the wealth of shared knowledge in my leather guild (www.iilg.net), the fellowship and camaraderie between pipe men/women around the globe, the generosity does overwhelm me and touch my heart. Let me give you a couple of examples, from my Facebook pipe group the ACPA, I wanted to share: one from last week, my original thought, and one surprise from today. 

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow West Virginian, now transplanted to Minnesota, for the first time in person. He was in the area, an hour or so away, and we met for a few hours of pipe smoking, talking and just getting to know each other better, followed by lunch at the world famous Hillbilly Hotdogs. It was a truly pleasurable day for us both, as our smiles give away!


Then, today I spoke via messenger with a gentleman, in every sense of the word, about a project he’s been working on. Well, I shall not go on about it all but he surprised me with an offer to trade goods/services at my convenience for a project already on its way to me! Humbled I was to say the least at his generosity and trust in me. 

The world is a big, scary place out there. And the World Wide Web has only made it smaller and, potentially, more dangerous. But take heart my friend! It has also allowed us to reach out and meet folks we would want to know, with values and interests like our own that we might otherwise only wish we could encounter. 

These guys and countless other unmentioned folks give me hope that the world hasn’t really degenerated to the cesspool it so often seems to be.   

A Letter to a Younger Me – #BeWoW

Yesterday when I read the idea Ronovan had for his #BeWoW post this week I was immediately taken with and inspired by it. I gathered my essential gear for this task – my favorite corncob pipe filled with a favorite tobacco, my Zippo, my iPad, and a large mug of dark roast coffee – and went to my favorite spot to ponder on our back deck. There I meditated on what I might or might not tell myself, if I had that opportunity, with the knowledge I now possess. I composed my letter but had to take a break from working on the post (my grandson came home from school) so it rested until now. 

 © Greg Wolford 
I would’ve gotten this published earlier today but another event inspired me to blog about it first, since the main body of this post was already done. So this week I end up with two #BeWoW blogs; if interested, you may read the first post here, on my other blog. Now, onto my letter to me.

Letter to self
I’m writing this to you 25-years in the future. I know it is weird reading that; it’s much more so writing it though. I want to provide you with some advice, based on how our lives have turned out so far. I can’t be too specific because I don’t know what choices you’ll make when you read this and how they may alter our destiny. So, from what I’ve learned and wish I’d known a quarter century ago, this I would like to pass on to you.
You think you have pretty good instincts, especially toward people. And you do. While it’s not always going to be right, follow your “gut” whenever and wherever it leads. Learn from each chapter of your life as you “write” it. And don’t be such a critical author; no one gets them all every time, no matter what you think. 

Stay humble and it will get you far; remember it takes a lot more guts to be compassionate than to be a brute, in all areas of life. But don’t be run over because of your humility. I know you won’t worry over your “image” or how your are perceived and I know that is a good thing in our case; don’t question that.

I have always been one to forgive but not forget. I can’t advise you on this, Greg, because I can’t change who I am now. And I don’t know if I would tell you to change this either. Follow your gut. 

You are stronger than you think you are. But in a few years, if you follow the path as I did, you’re going to think you’re stronger than you are. Acknowledge that your strength, and all things, come from God sooner than I did. Know that it takes time and distance to get the correct perspective on how He works. And embrace the gifts and talents He has graced you with much sooner than I did.

If you follow the road of life as I have, and forsake this letter, you will end up okay. But you will end up with some regrets; I know because I have them and live with them daily. If I can persuade you to take only one piece of advice and adhere to it it will be this: Mend your relationship with God now, and follow the Holy Spirit’s prompting now. Don’t waste the years I did by not walking in His will. Trust me when I say there are so many lives you can touch and make a difference in for the better. And believe me that if you disregard this piece of advice you will have many of the same remorse and “what ifs” that I have.