if: when we receive so much more than we deserve or expect

If only. Oh how often those immortal words have entered our thoughts or escaped from our lips, as we murmur against the hand life has dealt us or wonder just when we can fulfil our delayed hopes and dreams.

Maybe ‘if only’ has been spoken as wistful wishes or with sadness and regret. I’ve had my share of both. But I’ve also expressed those words when looking back in gratitude for the way God has intervened to rescue me from this or that. With God, we always receive so much more than we deserve or have any right to expect.

Today, I’m wondering at the wisdom of temporarily breaking my poetic silence and period of enforced rest, having been lured into the writing waters again by the prompt of ‘if’ provided by five-minute-friday this week.

If

If you can see yourself as you really are, your need for alteration and change,
and are willing for your mind to become transformed, your life rearranged.

If you can look beyond the bare bones of your own meagre existence
and recognise how much loving others makes a difference.

If you refuse to slavishly follow the ways of this darkened world, preferring,
instead, to plough your own furrow, while watching seeds of faith unfurl.

If you recognise that undue haste and hurry only lead to stress and driven
lives, and that being spiritually guided, led and inspired is truly wise.

If you can maintain hope when challenges mount up, and drink
willingly from life’s stormy, thankless and bitter cup.

If you gratefully receive grace upon grace to help you live your life
aright, while yielding yourself to God’s supreme will and his laser-light.

If your eyes have been opened to the mystery and marvellous ways of God,
and your broken heart has been broken open by his unconditional love.

If your prayers centre on inner growth, supporting others more than yourself,
and you’ve developed a greater Christ-like, compassionate heart as well.

Then you will be aware of being God’s beloved one, my friend,
created to be in relationship with him and to do good things.
© joylenton

**With apologies to Rudyard Kipling for styling my hastily executed poem similarly to his own epic work. You can read his masterly ‘If’ poem here… **

However, I am delighted to be flexing my poetic muscles again and to have an offering to share with the wonderful writers here. Come join us? ūüôā

Lost time

Do you ever wonder where time disappears to? Me too.

Each and every one of us has the same 24 hour allocation yet none of us will spend those hours in exactly the same way.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, time may seem endless in terms of hoping for improvement and recovery.

Sleep can prove elusive and erratic.

Rest is far from restful if pain intrudes too much.

The life I dream of seems to slip through my fingers like grains of sand while I scramble to catch them.

Where did all those wasted minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and even years go?

I was laid low,  or slept through many of them.

Moans at midnight.  Sighs at dawn.  A body rising stiff to greet a day already half over for many.

Here I am:

A woman with training and experience that lies wasted.

A nurse needing care myself.

A poet penning in PJs.

A wife without the means to be a proper helpmate or companion.

I wrote the poem below at such a time of introspection. It spoke for how I felt then and may speak into your situation too.

‘Black Hole’

There’s a space

in my life

where time disappears

down a black hole

already littered

with discarded hopes

dreams and desires

enough to fill

several craters

stacked high

or light

a multitude

of funeral pyres

Where does it all go?

How do these things

slip away

from my grasp

writhing hither and thither

with eel-like slither

when all I want

to do

is clasp them

to my heart

and cry, “Stay!”

Maybe I’ve

risked too much

extended thought

and expended energy

on things not

really meant to be

some crazy schemes

foolish inanities

to become

a bonfire

of the vanities

©JoyLenton2013

And yet..

This is looking at things from a limited human perspective only.

Time is redeemable when our days and ways are surrendered to the One beyond its restrictions.

He uses everything in our lives for His purposes. Not a crumb is wasted.

How do you feel about time disappearing? 

On the cusp

Here we stand. On the cusp of uncertainty. Hovering at the edge.

On the brink of possibilities, potential or pitfalls.

Where hope and fear meet. Expectation rises.

Here lies a blank sheet waiting to be inscribed like the pages of a new journal.

Our stories wait to be written.

Our lives stretching out before us in minutes, hours, days yet to be lived.

Our disappointments ready to be consigned to The Past.

For this is a new year approaching ~ opportunity beckons to do things differently.

Are you ready?

‘Anew’

Celebrated arrival cloaked

in virginal innocence

A blank sheet

clean slate

rose-kissed dawn

pregnant with possibility

Viewed with eyes

of wonder

intrigue

suspicion

awe

breath-held fear

and great curiosity

What if?

What if THIS ~

is the time

promises are kept

dreams come true

lessons are learnt

goals are met?

Will problems rule

and reign again?

Will love flourish

or die?

Will we rush

with open-armed embrace

or turn aside?

No easy answers

rise to our lips

This takes

steely determination

raw courage

blind optimism

great faith

As we plunge

into The Unknown ~

unfamiliar territory

enclosed by memory

of past victories

of battles won,

we too

will overcome

©JoyLenton2012

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” ~ Isaiah 46:18 – 19