“The heroism is standing up to evil, standing up to darkness. We can’t just be bystanders, we need to be activists and get out there and be heroes. Light pushes away darkness.” – Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Poway, California
In Marti’s story for Jocelyn, our granddaughter, The Pigeon and the Ruby Collar (see yesterday’s Catch), I can see myself repeatedly in the life of the young prince, and I find Marti often in the activities and the magic of the young princess.
My identification with the prince is not a very positive one. Notice the prince doesn’t really do very much of anything in this story beyond his childhood. He doesn’t slay any dragons (more on that later), he doesn’t free the princess (she didn’t really need to be freed because she wasn’t trapped), he doesn’t fight a war or rule over a kingdom — things princes are supposed to do. The most he does is participate in the king’s council, and write a few books on government and war. He may write about life, but he doesn’t live it well. True, he was thrown into a dungeon and diseased from never seeing sunlight, but there does not appear to be any sign he tried to do anything about this situation. He seems resigned to his position as second in line for the throne and not very likely to be called upon for anything beyond his confinement to darkness and his books. It’s only because of the faithful, wounded pigeon who wouldn’t give up on her assignment to get the message through that the prince has any contact with the outside world.
The princess, on the other hand, is only in her tower to rest and recuperate from being with the people all day, listening to their stories and healing their diseases, and calling them “to work and dance and live in the sun, to have joy again instead of fear.” Sounds a lot like Marti. Just as being trapped in the dungeon sounds a lot like me.
Problem is, I’m surprisingly happy about being in the dungeon because that means there’s nothing I have to do and nothing I can do to change that, even if I wanted to. So just resign myself to the nothing that surrounds me. Of course this plays right into my “Never enough” mantra: There’s never enough money to do this or that. I can’t afford my life. Sorry, can’t do that. Never having enough limits my options.
This always gets pretty painful when I look at my life like this. Am I really that boring? Am I really that isolated, and do I really like this? Is this how I want it to be? And aren’t I getting a little tired of admitting this, and aren’t you getting a little tired of hearing it? When does this change? I‘m always confessing. Never changing, just doing the same thing over and over again and confessing over and over again.
I think I’m going to grab a carriage ride over to Marti’s place. Things are a lot brighter over there. I hear they are working and dancing and living in joy instead of fear. I think a lot of this has to do with outlook. What is your outlook on life? Is your outlook faith or fear? Hope or defeatism? Solutions or problems? Abundance or lack? Light or darkness? There is no in-between on any of this.
“I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me!”
~ Anne Frank
God has gifted each one of us with unique abilities and opportunities to accomplish His purposes. It is up to each one of us to make those most of those gifts and our time here on earth — just as Anne did.
Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day is on May 2 (Wednesday).
Correction: Thursday, May 2nd.
Actually, I think Marti’s mantra “All from God, nothing from me” is the answer. God is all about faith, hope, solutions, abundance and light. None of the others are from Him.
My own personal mantra is the only thing I control is my attitude, so try to be happy b/c it’s all up to me!
I feel your pain John. I’ve been in a spiritual funk for weeks, fueled by circumstance and my lack of faith. I keep saying I believe – and I do. But I need to keep asking Him for help with my unbelief. Sometimes it seems I’ll never get it down, at least not in this life. But I keep facing into the wind and brace myself to keep going forward,,,because the alternative is not an option. Blessings to you and Marti – I pray she’s on the mend.