If you are reading this because you are facing some great challenge, or struggling with a problem that is becoming overwhelming, then I hope you find the inspiration you need to renew your faith and lift your spirits.
The key to the insight or solution you seek could be somewhere within the poems or stories that follow. Just open your heart ….
Footprints in the Sand
(a parable attributed to Mary Stephens)
One night a man had a particularly vivid dream. He dreamt that he was walking along the beach with God. As he looked down, he saw all the scenes of his life flash by – along with two sets of footprints in the sand: one set for himself, and another for God.
After all the scenes had flashed before him, he looked back at those footprints and noticed something quite disturbing: At the most difficult times in his life, when he was almost overcome with his deepest pain and despair, he saw only one set of footprints.
This troubled and confused the man, so he turned and asked God: “You said that if I had faith in you, then you would always walk with me through thick and thin. And yet in looking back, I see that during the most painful times of my life, there is only one set of footprints. Why did you leave me, at those times when I needed you the most?”
And God looked gently at the man, with compassion shining through his eyes and quietly replied ….. “I never left you, my son. It was during those times when you suffered the most, that I carried you.”
IF by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat these two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – what is more – you’ll be a Man, my son
The Power of One
One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step must start each journey.
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true,
One life can make a difference,
You see, it’s up to you!
When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high;
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems afar.
So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit.
The Burdens We Share
The young man was desperate and felt at the very end of his rope. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in fervent prayer. “Lord, I can’t go on,” he said. “I have too heavy a cross to bear.”
The Lord replied, “My son, if you can’t bear it’s weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then open the door, look around and pick any other cross you can cope with”
The young man felt a flood of relief. “Thank you, Lord,” he sighed, and did as he was told.
As he walked and looked around the room he saw a multitude of different crosses; many so large that the tops were not visible. Then he spotted a relatively tiny cross leaning against a far wall. “I’d like that one, Lord,” he whispered.
The Lord replied, “My son, that’s the cross you brought in.”
Making A Difference
Once upon a time there was a woman who used to go to the ocean to do her writing. She would walk along the beach for inspiration, before she began her work.
One day she was walking along the shore and she saw a young boy moving like a dancer. As she got closer, she saw that the boy wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.
As she got closer she called out a greeting to the boy,”Good morning, young man! What are you doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up and replied with courtesy, “Throwing starfish in the ocean.” and then returned to focus on what he’d been doing.
Curious, she asked him “And, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?”
The boy answered patiently “The sun is coming up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
The woman was incredulous and then amused by this.
“But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and many thousands of starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The young boy listened politely. Then he bent down, picked another starfish and threw it out into the sea, past the breaking waves and said thoughtfully, “Maybe so, but it sure made a difference for that one.”
Think You Can
“If you think you’re beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t
It’s almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’re outclassed, you are:
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
Sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.”
― An inspiring poem by Walter D. Wintle
From A Distance …..God Is Watching Us
A beautiful video clip which features the inspirational song of Bette Midler, and serves to remind us that we all need to help each other …….. More than one half of the world’s population is living in poverty, sometimes we need to ask ourselves if we’ve done our bit to help
Take a look at our page Inspiration
For great resources on self-motivation and self-improvement, see Personal Development