Saturday, March 31, 2012

This, Too, Shall Pass . . .

2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

And, since nothing else that I see merely through the senses can or will persist, He alone is. ~Mohandas Gandhi

There are days I wax nostalgic.  Wishing I could see again the landmarks in my life which are no more.

The home I grew up in.  Where I even raise my own children for a time.

Bulldozed.  Along with the entire neighborhood to make way for town-houses and condominiums.

My elementary school.  Leveled.  For a shopping center and restaurants.  The playground, a parking lot.

The overgrown horse track, its original, cyclical path barely visible beneath meadow grasses.  Where my brother and I romp and run with abandon.

Occupied now by a hospital.

The vast acres of forest behind our house.  Where ancient hardwoods, some with trunks six feet in diameter, stretch their worshiping branches toward heaven.  The winding paths we explore with my dad.

Chopped down.  Hauled away.  The ground upon which they proudly stood, graded for a baseball field and tennis center.

Changes.  All in the name of progress.

And, a reminder . . .

That everything we can see is temporal.  Fleeting.

To place our hopes in what we see is but vain pursuit.

But, to place our hopes in what we don't see is to know.

He, alone, is . . .

Eternal.
~
Do you have favorite landmarks from childhood which no longer exist?

Will you pray with me?
Help us to remember, Father, that the things of this world are passing away.  Let us not cling to them.  Instead, may we keep our eyes fixed on that which we cannot see and place all our hopes in You.  Amen.

Readings
Psalms 137:1-6 (7-9), 144 or 42, 43
Exodus 10:21-11:8
2 Corinthians 4:13-18
Mark 10:46-52   

26 comments:

  1. No, not really. The houses I grew up in are still there, the schools I attended, churches. I don't seem to place much emotion in things like that though, I guess. Not sure why. As an adult I do not either and I believe that is because we are a military family, moving from one state or country to the next every 3 years and we live in base housing or rent apartments, so nothing ties us down really, although I keep all the great memories of those places etched in my mind.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, RoseAnn!
      Yes, I think the military life with its constant moving about creates a healthy sense of detachment from the material things. Glad, though, you have wonderful memories!
      Blessings to you!

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  2. I have some landmarks, but I can't remember them...my memory=leveled!! :-))

    While I would like to see some things again for maybe, the last time, it really doesn't mean a thing to me, the longer I walk with Jesus!! Thanks for this reminder, sister!! Have some cocoa later today, it's greeeeeeeeeat for the soul!!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Bernie!
      Yes, the more we walk with the Lord, the less important anything material is in our lives. Change, though, isn't always easy, but my experiences have helped me to realize that the eternal should ever be my focus.
      And, I think I will have some chocolate today! Loved your article!
      Blessings to you!

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  3. Oh I don't really remember. My childhood memories are a bit vague at this moment and I couldn't point out which place it was...

    I think more of the places I've been to. I know that as much as I would like to, I might not be able to visit them again... I think of the people I shared my life with once ~ most of them died already... I think of my troubles, pains and difficulties ~ All these are fleeting.

    There is only one constant thing that remained and that is love...God's truth.

    I pray with you...may we keep our eyes fixed on the Lord and yes, place our hopes in Him alone.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Melissa!
      I agree - the only constant in life is the love of God - that will never change though everything material crumbles around us. Thank you for sharing in the prayer today, that we stay focused on Him!
      Blessings to you!

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  4. I immediately thought of my grandparent's home - which was filled with so many memories of happy times. Today it houses a hospital - the property was bought by a cousin who has very thoughtfully dedicated one floor to my grandfather, another to my grandmother and one to the entire family. She has put up pictures of them on each floor and a little message about them. She used the old doors/ windows of the house to create a chapel in the hospital. Sorry - I got carried away, Martha.

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    1. Oh, no, Corinne, please don't apologize! I loved your story! What a great way to remember your grandparents by turning their home into a hospital where people are lovingly cared for and healed. Beautiful tribute!
      Thanks so much for visiting today!
      Blessings to you!

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  5. Oh Martha, I know that subtle sadness that pinches your heart when it seems your entire childhood has been torn down. None of the places I lived as a child still stand, or my elementary school. My favorited five and dime, a skinny store that was stacked from floor to ceiling with sweets, toys, and everything else is now a tattoo parlor. So, I carry my memories in my heart like you.
    Yes, all things are temporal—fleeting, and the things we see will rot and rust, the people will die if we don't die first. The only permanent thing is invisible to the eye but not the heart, and that thing is love. God is love. This gives me hope.
    Beautiful post Martha, you've stirred me up sweet lady. Sending love, that invisible but powerful force that holds this whole thing together.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Leah, and leaving such a touching comment about your own lost landmarks. I believe it is the sentimental in us that longs to see things we remember as they were. But, we do realize that placing our hope in the eternal, our loving God, is the only way to go and the only thing that gives us that deep and abiding peace.
      Thank you for sending you love, my friend - I feel it!
      Blessings and love to you!

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  6. You have a wonderful way of reaching people, Martha! Love your spirit and enjoy some Hershey's Dark today...with almonds are even better!! :-))

    God bless you for your daily devotion to HIM!! AMEN!

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    1. Thank you for this sweet compliment, Bernie!
      I assure you, I will be indulging in the chocolate today, with peanuts, not almonds, although I do love them. :)
      God bless you, too!

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  7. Because of my childhood abuse, it is hard for me to remember so many things. My childhood home was later lived in by my uncle and aunt. It was a trailer - that is still there today. I only lived there a few years before we moved 1000 miles away. I spent my school years in a townhouse. No family except my parents so my memories are mostly of just me and the few friends I had.

    My best memories are at my grandparents house - who have both since passed on and who are both buried in the tiny cemetery just across the street from their tiny country home - which my mother now occupies and I lived there a short time after they passed and after my divorce ( I divorced one week after my grandmother passed).

    So it seems not all of my memories are all happy - so many connected to sad. But I try to not let it bring me down and see the good in all things.

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    1. Thanks so much, Chrystal, for stopping by today and leaving such a thoughtful and touching comment.
      Yes, when memories are unhappy ones, we want to let go of them and not "go back home again". I can understand this . . .
      My favorite memories, too, were at my grandparents home. It still stands in the tiny town of Fairhaven, MA, but has passed out of family hands.
      Not letting the sad drag you down and seeking good in all things is the way to go. There is so much sweetness to life and it is up to us to seek it out.
      Blessings to you!

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  8. Reminds me of the Joni Mitchell song, They Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot... My biggest regret along these lines was the family home that belonged to my grandmother's family where my dad grew up. It was practically in downtown Winston-Salem NC and one of those old southern looking homes with a big porch, a winding staircase going up to the second floor and such great history! Some of the stories are that the upstairs including two toilets side by side (why?) and that chickens were raised in the upstairs attic during the depression. Unfortunately, it was sold and yes, is now a parking lot. Such a waste. Love the post BTW.

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    1. Hi, Lynne, and thanks so much for stopping by!
      What a great analogy you have made to this song here. That surely would have been a better title for this post had I thought about it. :)
      That is sad about your grandparent's home . . . at least you have memories and stories to tell about it. Any photos?
      Glad you enjoyed the post today. I certainly enjoyed yours!
      Blessings to you!

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  9. ... this too shall pass! ~love that!

    your memories of places past are wonderful ~leaving happy thoughts! What a gift! I so hope to create this with my children!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Amy!
      Yes, I am thankful for so many wonderful memories. I'm sure you will create beautiful ones for your own children. Keep taking those photos! That will be something they will certainly treasure years down the road.
      Blessings to you!

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  10. Thanks for reminding us about what is most important. But since you and I grew up in the same nieghborhood, do you not wish you could just park at the bottom of our old street and then hike threw what is left from our past. I want to follow the creek from the old waterworks all the way to Lullwater at Emory. Or just one more time walk the railroad tracks. Yes it is fleeting and that is all the more reason to want to see our old high school one more time.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, David!
      I thought about you when I wrote this as we do share so many of the same memories. What a great idea to follow the creek from the waterworks to Lullwater - just might have to do that sometime, although it's an awfully long drive from Kennesaw. Also, driving down our old street does make me sad . . .
      But, so glad we share in the knowledge of what is important in life.
      Blessings to you!

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  11. I see not in buildings but in people..I have seen things change drastically even in the last months, days.... and I wonder how people go on or exist with out faith that God exists and doesn't change..I am understanding this a little more each day...Thank you...As always...XOXOXOXO

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    1. Bonnie, thank you so much for stopping by!
      Yes, it is so difficult to move forward, to keep growing, when the people around us leave or change. I, too, cannot imagine how anyone goes on without faith in our steadfast, eternal God who is unchanging. So glad you are coming to know this more and more each day in your life.
      Blessings to you!

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  12. Oh Martha, your post couldn't have come at a better time. I saw a lot of changes.. from my elementary and high school, to our house, to the church structure.. they all underwent renovations. Not only infrastructures changed, but people too. Molded by pain and trials.. I see people change both for the good and bad. Yes, everything is fleeting and the only constant thing in this world is change.. and God.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by today, Irene!
      You are so right. The only two constants in life are change and God. Though not all changes are good, as you mention here, at least we know we can rely on our Heavenly Father to be the same, yesterday, today, and forever. What a blessing that is!
      And, blessings to you!

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  13. The fields across from the street from us when I grew up used to be farm fields. I'd go up there for hikes with my family and oftentimes alone. I'd bring my notebook and write, take pictures and just enjoy watching the wildlife. Oftentimes deer would emerge at dusk right before I'd leave to go home. I always loved watching their delicate grace and beauty. Now those fields have been sold and houses and roads run a labyrinth through my childhood wonderland.

    It's so true that the only constant is change. Except for God.

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  14. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jessica!
    Oh, what beautiful memories to have! So sorry your "childhood wonderland" is no more . . .
    And, yes, except for God, everything changes.
    Blessings to you!

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