The Daffodil Principle

There is a story called, “The Daffodil Principle” that some of you may have heard. A daughter phoned her mother to come and see the daffodils while they were in bloom. Though reluctant to drive two hours, she nevertheless drove through the rain and fog, but was ready to go right back home as soon as it cleared. She relates this story saying, “My daughter asked if I would drive her to the garage to get her car before I left her, but her motive was to take me to see the daffodils, though it irritated me when I realized it.

We reached a small road near a church and when we turned around a bend in the road, there before me, was the most glorious sight I have ever seen. It was if someone had taken a vat and poured it over the mountainside in a cascade of colors. “Who did this?” I asked her. My daughter pointed to a modest house nearby, and on reaching it we saw a poster on the patio headlined—answers to the questions I know you are asking. The first answer is 50,000 bulbs—the second answer—one at a time by one woman, two hands, two feet and the third—began in 1958. This was the daffodil principle.

I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who for fifty years had brought her vision of beauty to an obscure mountainside, one bulb at a time. She had created something of ineffable beauty and inspiration. The “principle” taught me that learning to move toward our goals one step at a time—to love the doing of it, and to use the accumulation of time by multiplying small pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too can accomplish magnificent things and change the world. It makes me sad I said to my daughter, what I might have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and worked at it one bulb at a time. Just think of what I might have achieved. My daughter in her usual practical way said, “Start tomorrow. It’s so pointless to think of lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make it a lesson of celebration, instead of regrets, is to ask yourself, “How can I put this to use today?”

You all know of Blessed Mother Theresa’s famous words, “God doesn’t ask for success. He asks for faithfulness.” It isn’t necessary to perform great heroic deeds or accomplishments because nothing impresses God. However, God does ask us to use the wonderful gifts and graces He has given us to plant the Kingdom of God within ourselves, others, and the world. One bulb at a time. And these things can be accomplished without great effort on our part in three ways: First, by remembering to give thanks to God every day for the gift of life, and many other gifts of His creation, in some form of prayer. Second, to let our gifts of Faith, Hope and Love—especially Love, be manifested at home, in the workplace and in the world by our thoughts, words, and actions. And finally, never give in to fear, discouragement, or despair for these are the Devil’s tools, and we are children of God who need to understand, that we have to go through Calvary to arrive at Easter, for there is surely no person here who hasn’t or won’t go through some form of Calvary in their life in imitation of our divine Lord.

There is one last thing of which we must be conscious that tie together all of these things and that is TRUST. Placing all our trust in God. He will dispose of all things He sees fit, yet it is His will to dispose them to our benefit. We have to place trust in our loved ones, and in each other, else faith, hope and love become simply words in our vocabulary.

Not everything is always as it seems, and so it is here that trust comes into play. Remember, when our life is completed, there will remain in the end only these three – Faith, Hope, and Love, and the greatest of these is Love. Increase these gifts, place your trust in them and the Kingdom of God is already within you.
From excerpts of Deacon Bob.

Conor
“Find a Way!”

Prayer

What is prayer? Just something you do once a week at services because you feel an obligation? Is it something you have no interest in at all, and no time to consider because of your schedule? Or maybe you feel you only need to pray when you need something or some tragedy has entered your life?

Or, is it that you do pray occasionally but it has no meaning or purpose in your life? See no results. In fact, the praying you are doing is boring, burdensome and awkward. Almost very discomforting.

Is it maybe you don’t know how to really pray? Would you be surprised to know that sometimes, and over a period of time, praying is sometimes lonely, empty and very dry for those that do pray? And do you know why?

Let me ask, have you in your life ever worked hard at something like a sport, project, an advanced degree, or a skill set you never had, but so desired by you? Maybe to play a musical instrument or being an accomplished public speaker? And you did it by your simple determination, effort and with help along the way. And yes, it did not happen overnight, as it required a lot of effort and commitment on your part. You had to make time for it in order to get something out of it and get where you needed to be.

What a great feeling! And when you have experienced that great feeling, wouldn’t you do anything to get that same feeling again?

There is a saying in the martial arts, whether you’re a white belt or a dedicated black belt that simply says, “You need more practice.” And where does that not apply in our lives?

Know that God loves you and He wants to be with you and be part of your life. He has loved you before you even knew Him, and He can be part of your life. It requires you to “open your heart” to Him and put the above efforts into praying.

Have you heard of the analogy of how you protect what is most important to you? It is explained through rock, sand and water. In a large jar of water, you are asked to put in pebbles, sand, water and also rocks, with rocks being the things most important in your life. Without putting the rocks in first, one will never have the important things in their life.

As I have noted in previous writings, find your corner. Find your spot to pray and make it yours. Start out with 5 minutes, settle down and clear your mind and let it grow from there. As you begin to notice change slowly, experience God’s love and mercy, and you will want to grow that time together. Sometimes prayer is not needed. Just speak from your heart. Settle in His presence, feel nourished and know that you are in His love.

Know, you are never alone.

Conor
Find a Way!

A letter to a (my) daughter

Life delivers all kinds of hurdles, tests and challenges of our faith and the “who are we” of our character. The feelings become overwhelming; the dark is really ugly and a sick feeling prevails throughout your entire body. The questions flood in how am I going to deal with this, and get to a point of peace, sanity and closure? How do I do this day after day?

It is all so unfair, not right in any way you look at it, and the impact; is not just on me, but my children. It is especially hard on my 5 year old daughter who cannot begin to understand any explanation I offer to her to help alleviate the pain of the absence of her daddy. Where do I begin? Now what? Which direction do I take and who can I lean on for help, as I think I cannot do it alone?

I don’t have all the answers, but what I can tell you for sure, is what I have seen. You dug deep to do all that you have done during these very difficult and trying times. You were always a great mom, but you became “thee” anchor and support for your two beautiful girls. Every day you were there for them to bring normalcy into their lives, while I know you cried yourself to sleep most nights, if not all. You put on that face of determination and went to work to help with bills and expenses, and then; returned home to be that Mom you knew your children wanted and needed.

The strength of your character that you have shown during these times, cannot yet be fully appreciated and understood by you, but to those who know you, rest assure they can recognize and see all the changes in you. You were put to a test and you came out the other end even more beautiful. You should continue to hold your head high, keep that confidence close at hand and take that normalcy you fought so hard for. Go forward with your 2 beautiful kids in tow. And when you have that empty feeling or another challenge facing you, remember you have that confidence in your pocket, and continue forward for what you know is right and needed.

How can I say all of this at this time? Well, in many cases the last person to know is the person living it. Take it in faith in what we share, and the love I have for you. I have looked at you my whole life and watched the changes over time and have admired whom you have become. You understand the real beauty and the important things in life to protect and nurture. Today, through these challenges, you have taken yourself new levels. It shows in the remarkable person you have become through this ordeal. You are that new person! You are full of love, understanding, kindness and beauty. And it does show!

In time, you will find and realize the “high good” and you will know that someone was always present for and with you.

You have many who care, love and support you, but know; “He loved you before you loved Him.”

Time is now to Keep Smiling!

Love you, and know that it is true; as love with conditions, is not true love.

My best to you; always.

Dad
Continue to Find a Way