Sometimes, when we encounter problems, we allow them to grow so large and menacing that they block out everything else. Like an eclipse of the sun, we are caught in a darkness that, for a moment, threatens to shut out the light forever.
We all know that the moon is tiny compared to the enormity of the sun. It only appears to overshadow the sun because of its shorter distance from us.
In the same manner, our problems sometimes seem insurmountable and the solutions cannot be found. We allow the problem to become so close to us, that life seems pointless. We disregard and neglect the things which can still give us joy and meaning.
Sara Teasdale writes about her encounter with a wise old man, whose simple creed enabled him to keep the joy in his eyes through the ravages of the years.
I saw him sitting at his door,
Trembling as old men do;
His house was old; his barn was old,
And yet his eyes seemed new.
His eyes had seen three times my years
And kept a twinkle still,
Though they had looked at birth and death
And three graves on a hill.
“I will sit down with you,” I said,
“And you will make me wise;
Tell me how you have kept the joy
Still burning in your eyes.”
Then like an old-time orator
Impressively he rose;
“I make the most of all that comes,
The least of all that goes.”
The jingling rhythm of his words
Echoes as old songs do,
Yet this had kept his eyes alight
Till he was ninety-two
A short and simple tenet for us to keep in our minds, for the times when loss and disaster threaten to darken our hearts?
“Make the most of all that comes, and the least of all that goes.”