Saturday, May 17, 2014

Thy Rod & Staff Guide Me

"The staff is also used for guiding sheep. Again and again I have seen a shepherd use his staff to guide his sheep gently into a new path or thought some gate or along dangerous, difficult routes. He does not use it actually to beat the beast. Rather, the tip of the long slender stick is laid gently against the animals's side and the pressure applied guides the sheep in the way the owner wants it to go. Thus the sheep is reassured of its proper path.

Sometimes I have been fascinated to see how a shepherd will actually hold his staff against the side of some sheep that is a special pet or favorite, simply so that they 'are in touch.' They will walk along this way almost as though it were 'hand-in-hand.' The sheep obviously enjoys this special attention from the shepherd and revels in the close, personal, intimate contact between them. To be treated in this special way by the shepherd is to know comfort in a deep dimension. It is a delightful and moving picture."

A Shepherd Looks At The 23rd Psalm, Pg. 90
Phillip Keller

Friday, May 9, 2014

Life: More dilemma than game; more trial than free pass

"Sports books are typically about winning because winning is far more pleasurable and exhilarating to read about than losing. Winning is wonderful in every aspect, but the darker music of loss resonates on deeper, richer plains [...] it's the losses that stand out, because they still make their approach, with all their capacities, to wound me intact

Writing makes you think you'll get everything: the job, the girl, the deposit of the million dollar check, the promotion. And you grow accustomed to a life of answered prayers. Winning, I think, shapes the soul of bad movies and novels and lives. It's the subject of thousands of insufferably bad books, and is the sworn enemy of art [...] At some point you do lose. Loss is fiercer; it's more uncompromising as a teacher; it's cold-hearted; but clear in that life is more dilemma than game, more trial than free pass. My acquaintance with loss has sustained me during the stormy passages of my life [...]"

Pat Conroy
My Losing Season: A Memoir