Not what I’d classify as a religious person, but spiritual, Rosamond Halsey Carr tells her story in her book, Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda. Published in 2001 and read by me last month, I recommend this book as a picture of woman’s self-realized independence, inner splendor, and outer triumph in this world of good and bad.
In 1949, Carr moved to what was then the Belgian Congo with her huntsman husband. Though they later got a divorce, Carr continued to live in Africa, moving to and managing, a pyrethrum farm.
Her exploits maintained decency, as described in her book. She learned to love the foreign country and the natives. As she witnessed the collapse of colonialism, I was inspired to keep my eyes open to witness the collapse of other injustices in the world, rather than get angry.
Carr met other adventurous people and learned from them. There was no apparent competition between these adventurous souls reminding me that as we develop our own strengths, we can help one another.
“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.”—Colossians 3:9, ESV
Film, The Gabby Douglas Story (2014), captured many of the emotions that surely were experienced before medals were earned at the 2008 Olympics. Gabby’s family, already at a level of impoverishment, sacrificed for Gabby Douglas to continue training. And, although tempted, Gabby didn’t give up.
The loving and supportive family portrayed in the film is inspiring. I can also appreciate when Gabby explained the need to have faith. I thought it was interesting when Coach Chow correlated faith to gymnastics.
Film critics validly point out that the film neglected to address in appropriate measure, an issue that Gabby had to deal with, racial prejudice. She was a black woman in a predominately white sport.
However, I noticed Gabby had the spirit to encircle herself with those who were uninfluenced by racial prejudice. They didn’t ignore it, but they didn’t butt heads with it either. They got above it, teaching me the lesson that a focus on hard work might be more productive than a focus on human faults and sins.
The film is admirable and I recommend The Gabby Douglas Story.
Reading the Bible practically requires thought. This is different from reading the Bible emotionally or as if the words are what God said. The Bible isn’t a history book and God doesn’t speak human words. God is Spirit and communicates spiritually, mentally.
The David and Goliath story found in I Samuel, chapter 17, has proven helpful to scores of people. Many times over, the underdog comes out ahead of the big corporation or the meany. We learn we can stand up against threats.
The practicality of the Bible becomes more apparent as I look within my own mind also.
Within my own mind, I may be harboring a mean threatening thought. The callous thought could very well be stopping my good thoughts from manifesting. Kinda like dry dead skin stopping skin lotion from moisturizing the skin.
Do I have resentment? Even if the resentment appears justified, I can pick up a stone, throw it, and kill the resentment. This allows all my thoughts of strength, wellbeing, and purpose to be free. And, it makes the Bible practical.
My husband just returned from a trip out west. In Seattle, Washington, he boarded an airplane after 6 a.m. and was in Albany, New York before 6 p.m. Seattle clock time was 3 p.m.
A nine hour trip that took him 3,000 miles. Doug went from sixty degrees Fahrenheit to one degree. From flowering rhododendrons to shimmering frosty trees and three feet of snow on the ground. Kinda funny.
Two hundred years ago, this reality was unexperienced.
Today, people take travel excursions regularly and know to take a winter coat to wear over their shorts and t-shirt when they arrive at their destination.
When we are praying, take this disparity into account. Too often our prayers don’t work, or wander around aimlessly, because we are trying to repeat a prayer that was experienced yesterday. We are only taking into account what the physical senses say now.
Prayer is to experience the glorious ever-expressing God. Prayer is to be prepared for a God expressing more gloriousness, more life, more love, more truth.
I think the Buddhists glimpse the importance of “being quiet” in order to stop the interrupting human mind trying to direct our prayers. “A coat will only make you sweat,” says the human mind.
The Science, or knowledge of Christ, Love is directing our prayers and revealing the newness and beauty and balance we need today. It’s our right to experience the new.