Letting Go and Holding On

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. ~ 2 Chronicles 15:7

Tommy and I visited our daughter Emily a few weekends ago. A highlight of our trip was the laughs we got from watching her dog Benji (2½-yrs old) and our dog Kobie (10-yrs old) interact. Kobie behaved in a way that we had never seen before.

Benji was a tiny puppy when Kobie met him over two years ago. We taught Kobie to be careful when playing with Benji. But, somehow Kobie became overly obliging to Benji. He always let Benji take his treats. He quickly gives Benji the toy that he is playing with—even when it is his toy. And, he constantly allows Benji to nudge him out of his spot on the couch.

However, on this particular day—Kobie wasn’t having it! Emily and I witnessed the whole thing. Kobie had Benji’s toy. Benji wanted it back. So, began the drama… We laughed and giggled. . . then laughed some more! Emily snatched up her phone and started videoing.

The video is worth a thousand words…

After Tommy and I returned home, Emily texted me the video. I watched it… laughing each time! Over and over, again! I must have watched it at least five times!

Then… I realized that there was a message here. Watching Benji and Kobie wrestled over the toy… reminded me that we too wrestle over situations and circumstances. Trying to decide what to do. What is wrong! What is right! Should I say “yes” or “no”?  Should I let go or hold on? Just what is the best course of action at this place and time in my life?

Sometimes, in the same situation… letting go is the right thing to do… And holding on is the right thing to do. It is God’s grace and wisdom that lets us know—which is which—and when to do each!

Forgotten Wisdom: Aesop’s Fables

As I embrace Black History Month—my ancestors—people of color. . . I’m honored by their creativity, ingenuity and sheer perseverance. And while I orientated myself in place and time, Aesop’s Fables came to mind.

My brothers and I were often enchanted by stories that our mom told involving some ants and a grasshopper, a fox and some grapes. Coded meanings spoken by magical creatures that brought moral messages to those who would hear. Lions and wolves struck fear and courage in my heart long before I went to kindergarten.

But, imagine my delight, when I learned that a Black man had spoken those words centuries ago. How amazing it is that his words and identity survived to teach me. . .  to inspire me. . . to show me wisdom through moral and spiritual lessons.

For it’s generally accepted that Aesop, a slave and storyteller, lived in ancient Greece during the 6th century. He is believed to have been an African, possibly from Ethiopia. A Black man in ancient times, telling universal truths with words that even a child can understand reveals an image of a wise person. Take the story, The Lion & the Mouse, where the moral is that A kindness is never wasted, which was true in Aesop’s time, is true now, and will be true in the future.

I’ve always enjoyed reading Aesop’s Fables. Maybe it’s because my mom created an awareness for the nuances of learning through parables. Or maybe it’s the unique ability that the stories have to show a person’s beliefs, character and actions. . . and then masterfully show them consequences of such.

I picked up my cell phone. . .  called my daughter and shared my passion for the fables with her.  Then I asked if she’d read Aesop’s Fables in school. She told me that she didn’t think so. Guilt washed over me. I don’t remember sharing Aesop’s Fables with her when she was a child. Not in a real intentional way. . . like my mom did. . . Have we forgotten the wisdom found in Aesop’s Fables?

With a little persuasion from me, we read a few together and discussed the moral of each fable. It was an enjoyable experience. Which goes to show that the young and not so young can see the wisdom in Aesop’s Fables.

It’s my goal to re-read all the fables during the month of February and consider their relevance for living today. I invite you to join me in this quest.

God Bless. . . I am Wiley’s granddaughter.