Friday, June 7, 2013


I have been away for awhile.  I am amazed that it has been two whole months since I last blogged--where did the time go?

Well, I am an instructor for the College of Western Idaho, and the end of the semester is a busy time for us.  So, no time to blog.

I had shoulder surgery as soon as school was over--no time to blog.  Really, I couldn't type with a shoulder in a sling!

It strikes me as I sit down today to blog how busy our lives are and how "the best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry."  Robert Burns wrote that--he's the national poet of Scotland, and what inspired that line and the poem it's from, was one day, he was out plowing.  He was a farmer's son. His plow blade soon struck a mouse's nest.  Of course, the wee mouse went scampering away, all in a panic, and he was saddened at what he had done.  The nest was the mouse's protection against the cold and it had put a lot of work into creating that little shelter.  He grieves that all that work should be undone from one swipe of a blade and he muses how so much of what we do can suddenly become undone as well.  Here is the poem, in English, and it is a delight.

Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast,
O, what a panic is in your little breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With argumentative chatter!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering plough-staff.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes you startle
At me, your poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal!

I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;
What then? Poor little beast, you must live!
An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I will get a blessing with what is left,
And never miss it.

Your small house, too, in ruin!
Its feeble walls the winds are scattering!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
Of coarse grass green!
And bleak December's winds coming,
Both bitter and keen!

You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel plough passed
Out through your cell.

That small bit heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter's sleety dribble,
And hoar-frost cold.

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Still you are blessed, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!

The one thing the mouse is not concerned with is either the past nor the present--the wee thing lives only in the here and now.  The poet is not so lucky--nor are we.  We look back at the time we have lost and we look forward to what may be--afraid that the unknown will be unhappy.

But, as a Christian, I know where I have built my "nest"--on Christ's words. 

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

Notice that the wind and the rain hits both houses.  It's not the house itself (how good you are) but what you build your house ON--Christ's words of promise and strength for the fight.  

Yes, life's plow blades might take out your house, leaving you in a field, afraid and feeling alone.  But remember this:  "I may not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future."

It's good to be back writing and sharing with you!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...