Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An Empty Vessel? by Mr. Daddy

Do you ever just have a thought pop into your head?

And maybe it wasn't that simple really...

On Rach's recommendation I was reading the blog of
Switch2PlanB (wife.mom.nurse's husband). To say that he is a gifted writer, would be a gross understatement to say the least, and it sounds like he is pretty accomplished at catching babies too.

Within a few sentences of the first post I was hooked...

Now I can't begin to tell you the range of thoughts and emotions that coursed through my mind as I began going back to some of the earlier posts. (I have slept a couple of times since I read them), and as my recall is getting like my eyesight, (fading with age), it's not absolutely clear to me what it was that prompted the thought, "we are an empty vessel"

If my failing memory has not left me entirely, I think that it was in a post that he wrote for his brother's funeral.
Words Fail: A Eulogy for My Brother...

One of his opening statements is "Because words could never wrap their small arms around an entire lifetime, as if to gather up and give back to you the essence of a man—a man of uncommon strength, intellect, warmth, humor, and love as Gary."

Then goes on with those same words, With arms like a colossus to sum up a lifetime, with such love and clarity of thought, that I felt as if I had known and loved and honored him right along with those that had known him in life...

He goes on to state that a friend of his brothers suggests that the following passages of scripture best summed up his life....


Matthew 7:20
“Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them…”


Galatians 5:22-23
“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…


perhaps it was right about here where the thought came in "O to be an empty vessel", to be filled with the fruit of the spirit, of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control...

And the thought stuck, and rolled over and over in my head. At the most odd moments it would come flashing back into my consciousness, it got to be almost as irritating as an old Village People's song, like YMCA or something...

It was like some altruistic thinking, that if I thought long enough or hard enough, I might attain, or achieve this humble but lofty status. To be an empty vessel...

I thought about it all afternoon, and evening. Everytime it came into my mind I would talk to Dad about it, and he would listen...

And like the wise and benevolent Father that he is, He let me stew on it for a while...

Then He woke me up in the middle of the night a day or so later, He gently nudged me awake and said:

I didn't make you an Empty vessel my son...

I gave you life, a free will and the ability to choose...


Then He reminded me of an old Indian story about Two Wolves.


One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside of people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside of us all.

One is Evil: it is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is Good: it is love, joy, peace, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. "

The grandson thought about it for a while, and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins??"

The old Cherokee simply replied: "THE ONE YOU FEED!!!!"

I said: Thanks Dad, I love you..."

I felt His smile and His gentle embrace... :o)

12 comments:

Pam said...

Verrry well said Mr. Daddy!

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

Love this post...I think I see another blogger in my midst! Amazing!

He And Me + 3 said...

So true...Awesome post & very thought provoking. Isn't it great when Father wakes us up to teach us something important.

Pam D said...

I've always loved that story, but it's been a while since I heard it. Thank you, Mr. Daddy, for listening to the Father and then sharing His wisdom. For all of the kidding around that I do in your/Rach's guestbook, I respect and admire the two of you and am in awe of what you have together. Your faith and your love for God and each other are the greatest gifts that you will ever bequeath to your son. And the words that you carve into this blog will be a legacy for him, giving him a far clearer picture of who you really are. He will be SO proud, and he will have no doubt which wolf you've chosen. Blessings...

Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

Mr. Daddy, way to go. What a beautiful post. Full of emotion, and a great lesson. I am so glad you shared this. Hummm, may be time for your own blog....

melody is slurping life said...

Mr. Daddy, you have no idea what my family is going through right now...but

I have to feed the "good wolf".

Beautiful. Wise. Thank you.

Sarah said...

I agree with Elaine! This was heart-felt and something special we all needed to hear!

Thank you for sharing!

Stacy said...

What a wonderful post, Mr. Daddy. The Indian in me loves the reference to that story. I try to feed the good wolf, but the bad wolf gets some of the meal at times, too. Thank you for the reminder of which wolf needs to be fed. :)

wife.mom.nurse said...

Wow, I am touched by this...
beautifully said.

It is amazing and wonderful when we are open to the Lord and He can speak to us so personally.

Thanks for sharing.

Life has been hectic for my firehubby and i for a couple of days, but we just read this together. You have again allowed Gary to be honored in an indirect, but nonetheless special way.

Thanks again,
Julie

brian said...

Wow…

I am truly humbled—not just by your kind words—but by the hopeful notion that my brother’s story could somehow inspire such an ennobling inner dialogue for another man.

And now it comes full circle, as your readers clearly have been inspired by your thoughtful words here. Excellent.

Next weekend I’ll be traveling to Seattle, where my brother’s remains will finally be laid to rest. I’ll pass along your story to his family.

Thanks, Mr. Daddy.

Shanda said...

That resonated so deeply within my soul. Well said.

I had not heard the story of the two wolves before - what a perfect analogy.

It is a brief moment indeed that we are able to remain "empty" vessels. Pourings of good and evil are continuously splashing in upon us. Thank you for the reminder to choose the source from which we are filled.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

"The one you feed." I think this is going to be a major thought in my head this week. I think I need to stop feeding a certain wolf.