Tuesday, 29 April 2008


A few weeks after my first wife, Georgia, was called to heaven, I was cooking dinner for my son and myself. For a vegetable, I decided on frozen peas. As I was cutting open the bag, it slipped from my hands and crashed to the floor. The peas, like marbles, rolled everywhere. I tried to use a broom, but with each swipe, the peas rolled across the kitchen, bounced off the wall on the other side and rolled in another direction.

My mental state at the time was fragile. Losing a spouse is an unbearable pain. I got on my hands and knees and pulled them into a pile to dispose of. I was half laughing and half crying as I collected them. I could see the humour in what happened, but it doesn’t take much for a person dealing with grief to break down. For the next week, every time I was in the kitchen, I would find a pea that had escaped my first clean up. In a corner, behind a table leg, in the frays at the end of a mat, or hidden under a heater, they kept turning up. Eight months later, I pulled out the refrigerator to clean, and found a dozen or so petrified peas hidden underneath.

At the time I found those few remaining peas, I was in a new relationship with a wonderful woman I met in a widow/widower support group. After we married, I was reminded of those peas under the refrigerator. I realized my life had been like that bag of frozen peas. It had shattered. My wife was gone. I was in a new city with a busy job and a son having trouble adjusting to his new surroundings and the loss of his mother. I was a wreck. I was a bag of spilled, frozen peas. My life had come apart and scattered.

When life gets you down; when everything you know comes apart; when you think you can never get through the tough times, remember, it is just a bag of scattered, frozen peas. The peas can be collected and life will move on. You will find all the peas. First, the easy peas come together in a pile. You pick them up and start to move on. Later, you will find the bigger and harder to find peas. When you pull all the peas together, life will be whole again. The life you know can be scattered at any time. You will move on, but how fast you collect your peas depends on you. Will you keep scattering them around with a broom, or will you pick them up one-by-one and put your life back together?

How will you collect your peas?

-- Michael T. Smith
Received from: Life's Adventures
Life's Adventures comes out every Tuesday and Thursday. Each issue features a short story. Some of these are of the warm and fuzzy variety, some are sad, some are a little of both, but they all deliver powerful messages. Sign up today and see what you're missing. To subscribe: http://www.worldstart.com/comptips.htm# and select "Life Adventures" found under "Other Newsletters".

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Life .....

Just when you think those stories you read in the paper apply to "other people," life hits you between the eyes . . .

* Your child is suddenly taken from you with no warning. SIDS, cancer, automobile accident, abduction. Unprepared, and lost in a myriad of emotions you feel lost and alone. What did you ever do to deserve this?

* The job you've held for 20 years ends with only a couple week's warning. A buyout, mismanagement, bankruptcy. How will you make it? You're already living paycheck to paycheck. This can't really be happening!

* The person you've loved all your life tells you they love another and walk out. You knew some things needed attention in your relationship but had no idea things were that far out of hand. Why don't they want to stay and work things out?

* The one person you've looked to for a shining example of faith falls with a fury. Adultery, financial indiscretion, child molestation, homosexuality. Or maybe they just walk away from God and the church. If faith couldn't keep them on track, who has a hope in this world?

* Fire destroys your home and all your most personal belongings. Even though no one gets hurt, you've lost things that can never be replaced. No
insurance, no relatives that live anywhere close. How can you leave for just a few hours and come back to nothing?

It's then that you realize that those newspaper stories are about real people. People just like you. People just like me. Coming to that realization never takes away the pain, or the anguish, or the loss. It only confirms a reality. We're at war. At war with the forces that seek to tear us away from God. They know our pressure points and our comfort zones. They know what tempts us and what has no allure. Their only concern is to win the war.

Revelation 17 reminds us that there's a war going on. It vividly describes the enemy... and the outcome. May the words of verse 14 remind you of a victory that can be yours when you remain faithful in the midst of the battles of life:

"Thy will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome
them because he is Lord of lords, and King of kings -- and with him
will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."