Illustration results for lament
It¡¦s so easy to criticize what others are doing. If you look diligently enough you can find something wrong with everything. A farmer¡¦s neighbor was so negative, criticizing everything and anything. The farmer bought a new plow, the neighbor said it would rust soon. The farmer remarked how it was good to have more rain this year, and the neighbor lamented that his crops would rot at the root with all this rain. It went on ad nauseam.
The farmer determined he would find something to cheer up this bottomless pit of despair. He went out and purchased the finest hunting dog, and secretly trained him to fetch by walking on the water, instead of swimming.
When hunting season came the farmer invited his sour neighbor to go with him. When the first flock passed by, the farmer and his friend shot several ducks each. The farmer yelled to the dog, Fetch! The hound darted, his feet barely skimming the surface of the lake. He scooped up four ducks from the water and was back in an instant, dry as a bone. How ¡¦bout THAT? questioned the farmer. Remarked ol¡¦ sourpuss, Cain¡¦t swim, can he?
There was another man who earnestly tried to make the scriptures come to life. No, I am not talking about a nativity scene with live animals like my friends church. He chose a passage that many in this room know from the book of Isaiah. It says in 11:6,
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
He finally got a wolf and lamb and put them in the backyard to begin this scripture’s visual presentation. The problem he lamented was that he had to throw a new lamb in the backyard each day. Peace in this world is to the point that the lion or wolf will lay with the lamb.
SOMETIMES WE NEED A STEWARD
If you ever get to Venice, one of the places to see is Saint Mark's Square, the spot Napoleon called "the drawing room of Europe." But if you go there, make sure your belly is covered up. It’s not that there's exactly a dress code, but there is an expectation of decorum. At any given time there can be thousands of people in this famous square which is surrounded by great architecture and sites of historic importance. But some people just don’t get it, and they aren’t above wandering onto the square bare-chested or with their midriff exposed. Some carelessly drop litter and others try to set out picnic lunches on the square. Still others treat the nearby Grand Canal as if it were a beach.
So recently, in addition to posting signs naming the prohibitions, they have started employing a squad of women as stewards of the square to make sure tourists are not taking unwarranted liberties and pay due respect to the historic property. These stewards wear special T-shirts to identify their role and they try to do their work in a friendly way. They speak several languages so as to deal with foreign tourists. Most visitors who are corrected by a steward respond positively. However, when tourists turn aggressive, the women are able to call in police backup who can hand out fines ranging from 25 to 500 Euros. Actually, the stewards aren’t there to stop people from enjoying themselves, but to remind them of the importance of conducting themselves in a way that recognizes the specialness of the place.
Our reason for discussing all this is not to lament the state of our dress or manners, but to illustrate the idea that there are times and places where we need a steward to direct us in how to be in the square of life. That can be hard to hear in our individualist, don’t-fence-me-in society, but it's true nonetheless. And that brings us to our reading from Romans, where the apostle Paul contrasts what he calls life in the flesh with life in the Spirit. Romans 8:1-11.
A new minister was asked to teach a boys class in the absence of their regular Sunday School teacher. He decided to see what they knew,so he asked who knocked down the walls of Jericho. All the boys denied having
done it, and the preacher was appalled at their ignorance. At the next deacon’s meeting he told about the experience. “Not one of them knows who
knocked down the walls of Jericho.” he lamented. The group was silent until one seasoned veteran of disputes spoke up. “Preacher, this appears to be
bothering you alot. But I’ve known all those boys since they...
FROGS IN A CREAM BOWL
Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl.
One was an optimistic soul.
But the other took the gloomy view.
"We’ll drown," he lamented without much ado,
and with a last despairing cry,
he flung up his legs and said "Goodbye."
Quote the other frog with a steadfast grin,
"I can’t get out but I won’t give in,
I’ll just swim around till my strength is spent,
then I’ll die the more content."
Bravely he swam to work his scheme,
and his struggles began to churn the cream.
The more he swam, his legs a flutter,
the more the cream turned into butter.
On top of the butter at last he stopped,
and out of the bowl he gaily hopped.
What is the moral? It’s easily found...
If you can’t hop out, keep swimming around!
Philip Yancey writes in his book, Prayer, that
“… Keeping company with God also includes expressing the times of trial and frustration. In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye keeps up a running dialogue with God, giving credit for the good things but also lamenting all that goes wrong.
In one scene he sits dejected by the side of the road with his lame horse.
“I can understand it,” he says to God, “when you punish me when I am bad; or my wife because she talks too much; or my daughter because she wants to go off and marry a Gentile, but … What have you got against my horse?!”
A couple was driving home on their 25th wedding anniversary after a celebration at a fine restaurant. The wife was sitting over against the door on the passenger side. Her husband was behind the wheel. And she began to lament: “Oh, honey, remember when we were so close? I mean, I remember when we first got married. We sat so close that ...
The new minister was asked to teach a boys’ class in the absence of the regular teacher. He decided to see what they knew, so he asked who knocked down the walls of Jericho. All the boys denied having done it, and the preacher was appalled by their ignorance.
At the next deacons’ meeting he told about the experience. “Not one of them knows who knocked down the walls of Jericho,” he lamented. The group was silent until finally one seasoned veteran of disputes spoke up. “Preacher, this appears to be bothering you a lot. But I’ve known all those boys since they were born an...