A friend of mine told me that when she was young, even though her family was close and they loved one another very much, fairness was always an issue. She said that when her mom brought home a pie or ice cream for dessert, she and her brother fought over who got the bigger piece. The quibbling over dessert portions was so stressful for her mom that she kept a scale near the dining table and literally weighed out each plate of dessert to make sure it was even. That was their family policy for years.
It was a simple, mundane life, the life of Ferdinand Cheval. He was born in 1836 in a village southeast of Lyon, France, where he attended school for only six years until he was orphaned as a young teenager.
Throughout his life he worked as a farmer, a baker, and finally a postman. In 1869, he requested and obtained a route known as the Tournée de Tersanne, delivering and picking up mail in the villages around Hauterives. He remained there until retirement, walking the 33 km (20 mile) route daily over 10,000 times.
Most people have heard the acronym “YOLO” thrown around for the past couple of years. It stands for “you only live once.” Pop stars and celebrities have made it a catchphrase to promote doing crazy things or taking risks because, hey, “You only live once!”
It’s an attractive thought. Why worry about the future? Why subscribe to having to answer for decisions we make when we can pretend it all doesn’t matter anyway? Why can’t we only be concerned about what makes us happy right now?
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire, and he told his boss of his plans to leave and live a more leisurely life with his wife. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.
The contractor was sorry to see such a good worker go, and he asked the carpenter to build just one more house as a personal favor.
I went to my desk on Christmas Eve morning to find that our beloved sand clock glass had somehow broken. I threw it away, then fished it out again to take one last dramatic photo.
Sand clocks have always held a fascination for me, especially this one. It was a gift to my wife last Christmas, meant to represent “the gift of spending time together.” It also reminded me of a story and play I had written based around the symbolism of the sand clock.
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “Why am I here in this life? What does it all mean to me personally?” This is a common question, especially when we’re going through difficult times.
Of course, we know that God has placed us here to love Him and others.1 However, when we are faced with our own unique set of experiences that are part of our personal journey, it can sometimes be challenging to find meaning in all the things that come at us. That’s where we run up against brick walls every so often. We need an outside perspective from Someone who can see the full picture when we can’t.
I read an interesting self-help article called “Take Charge of Your Life in Just One Hour,”1 by Anna Rich. It stood out to me because the advice was simple, clear, practical, and putting it into practice actually fits into one hour. Here are my favorite tips (and a few personal adaptations) of what you can do in that one hour. Some points might work for you and others might not, but hopefully, a few things will make sense and help you get your day in order.
One of the most mind-boggling questions is “How does God relate to time?”
The Bible does its best to give us God’s perspective. “Don’t forget that for the Lord one day is the same as a thousand years,” it explains helpfully, “and a thousand years is the same as one day.”1 Our relationship to time seems to be a lot simpler, but the truth is we still haven’t figured it all out.
My grandmother wasn’t a career woman. In fact, she only held a job for six years in her entire life. When she got married, she and my grandfather couldn’t afford for both of them to be away studying for five years, so although she’d hoped to attend college, she remained at home with her husband’s relatives, who unfortunately treated her quite harshly. She endured the separation and the unkind relatives patiently, with no complaint in her letters throughout the entire time.
I was recently fascinated to read how scientists learned how to make more effective waterproof products such as raincoats and airplane parts by studying the ridges on butterfly wings. It struck me that I also could learn something from nature, and I began researching fruit trees.