Havens (June 19)


“. . . then we learn that the storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven” (George MacDonald).

SOME OF THE HAPPIEST “HAVENS” IN LIFE ARE THOSE WE WOULD NEVER HAVE FOUND HAD NOT SOME “STORM” DRIVEN US THERE. If necessity is the mother of invention, it’s also the mother of discovery. When we have to, we find out where there is refuge, safety, and sanctuary. At other times, we’re in desperate need of finding a haven and we have no idea where to look, but the very haven we need appears anyway. Either way, storms are not to be regretted if they result in our finding a pleasant port that we never knew about before.

We need to appreciate the extent to which other people have provided rest and refuge for us. There aren’t many of us who’re not indebted to friends who’ve given us shelter in the midst of some storm, sometimes at significant personal sacrifice. The worst thing we could do would be to take those havens for granted — and the best thing we could do would be to provide for others what has been provided for us.

For a human being, the ideal haven would not be a place of inactivity and indolence. And when it comes to relationships, those that provide the most helpful havens for us in troubled times aren’t necessarily those where everybody agrees with every word we say, strokes our ego, and tells us to just sit back and relax. Even when we’re in pain, there are times when we need to be confronted with honest truths that can cause us to grow and make progress. A true haven provides safety, yes, but the safety should be used constructively. Repairs need to be made, and then our ship needs to put back out to sea.

Wherever we are, in whatever “place” we may find ourselves, we need to see our circumstances as some sort of a haven. We may think our present situation is undesirable. We may worry that it leaves us open to certain dangers. But whatever difficulties it may be our lot to experience, it’s almost always the case that those difficulties protect us from some other, perhaps more dangerous, difficulties. In the real world, contentment often comes down to seeing and appreciating the haven-like aspects of our current condition, whatever that may be.

All places that the eye of heaven visits
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
(William Shakespeare)

Gary Henry – WordPoints.com

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