Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

August 10, 2012

COLUMN: What to make of diminished things

— Among creatures “both great and small,” the poet Robert Frost seemed to have the greatest affection for birds. A good example is his tribute to “The Oven Bird,” a woodland warbler who builds its covered nest (which resembles a Dutch oven) on the ground. To the poet’s ear, the Ovenbird’s distinctive song heralds the waning of the seasons and makes a pertinent query:

“The question that he frames in all but words

Is what to make of a diminished thing.”

It’s easier to sing in the early stages of life when things are on the upswing — when life seems to stretch out endlessly before us. But it takes a special bird with a different song to sing when things are winding down and the season is changing, as in...

...the close of a bountiful peach harvest,

...the shrinking of a beloved village and congregation,

...our children leaving after a long anticipated visit,

...declining energy, endurance, and health,

...the loss of loved ones and friends,

..the evolving of a world we once knew.

What shall we make of our diminished things?

Is it possible in the midst of grief to give thanks for what is fading away and allow those “diminished things” to become a foundation for the future? As the clutter and busyness subside, might we find our heart’s delight? Could we develop long neglected gifts? Could less become more?

Could we discover that the bridge between the land of the living and the land of the dead is love? Might we become more aware of opportunities to share the blessings that have been ours? Could we find a depth in life that we were too busy to plumb before? Could we grow to trust God rather than His gifts?

For this stage of life, Lord Alfred Tennyson gives a good answer to the Ovenbird’s probing question, “What to make of a diminished thing?”

“Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

Amen and Amen.

John Paul Carter’s “Notes from the Journey” appear in the Democrat’s Religion page on the second and fourth Fridays of each month. Carter is an ordained minister who attends Central Christian Church.

1
Text Only
Viewpoints
  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: I have been corrected

    I was complaining about President Obama making promises that he has not kept, such as taxes will not go up one dime or health care will go down about $2,500 per year for a family of four. He said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. He said he would have an immigration plan in place. What he really meant was that if Congress would allow it, we would have open borders.

    July 29, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Concern for your pocketbooks

    Dear Editor: My message today is to Democrats out in Parker County and the middle class and moderate-income Republicans in towns and rural areas. 

    July 27, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Taking care of your tools

    For much of my life I’ve heard the saying, “Take care of your tools, and your tools will take care of you.”  In our modern “throw away world” this has become much less important than it used to be, but down on the “pore farm,” tools still enjoy a prominent position in my daily life.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The greatest joy of all: Jesus

    The first part of this week was a joyous one for me. I took 10 youth to Lake Mineral Wells State Park for three days of day camping. Camp Adventure was the name of the camp. We discovered the joy of the One who created us: Jesus. I am sitting at my desk on the day after the camp writing this article. I am overjoyed by the events of the week, and yet I am physically exhausted. The Lord moved powerfully among our youth.

    July 26, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Now is the time for all good men...

    When man’s greed, desire for riches, power and control of our nation become greater than their love of humanity and our country, by constantly fomenting discord and hate among the citizens, warmongering and constantly talking of wars against other nations - it is putting political ideology before the welfare of citizens and country. It is time for We the People to take a good look at these men involved - no matter their status in our nation, we call the United States of America and decide whether or not they deserve the privilege and sanctuary of our nation.

    July 25, 2014

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Finding a church

    God commands His people to “keep holy the Sabbath Day.” The “Sabbath Day” was changed by the apostolic church to the first day, Sunday. The church refers to every Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Each Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, a professing Christian will seek to find a local church in which to invest in the kingdom and worship the King! 

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s your current address?

    Shortly after we moved to Weatherford 19 years ago, the old post office (today’s Court Building) that was literally bursting at the seams was replaced by a new, larger facility – our present mail center that sometimes seems outgrown as we stand in line to buy stamps or mail a package.  

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Good company, better service

    We would like to thank Devin’s Handyman Service, Gary Boase, David Schramm and James Reed for the wonderful job they did repainting our front fence, front porch, back porch, patio and deck. Everything looks new and makes such a difference in our home.

    July 23, 2014

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity in church

    Do you enjoy going to church? I mean, do you really enjoy going to church? No matter how you answer, there are some common reasons — or perhaps we would call them conditions — that would cause all of us to truly enjoy going to church. 

    July 20, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Don't judge a book...

    Dear Editor: Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when state representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.

    July 20, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando