When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Different Street

One of my favorite poems is this:

Autobiography in five short chapters
by Portia Nelson

I walk, down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in
I am lost - I am helpless
It isn't my fault
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place
but, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in - It's a habit.
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.

I love this poem because it is so much like my life.  Life is a learning process.  Somehow, I don't seem to always get the message quite as soon as I should.  I seem to make the same mistakes, over and over, until I finally try another way of approaching the problem.  Have you ever done that?  Made the same mistakes and kept hoping for a different result?  Have you walked down the same street over and over?
I have found that I am tested and tried in the same types of things until I finally walk down a different street.   Patience is a perfect example.  I keep getting tested in that area until I finally manage to control my temper.  Or even until I finally manage to not have a temper at all.
I am ashamed to admit it, but one of my greatest weaknesses used to be swearing.  I never said anything particularly terrible, but I was not speaking the way I should.  This finally became very important for me to overcome.  I prayed, I fasted, I worked on it.  I even used substitute words.  I kept walking down the same street and falling in the same hole.
Finally, I discovered  that I needed to take myself out of the situation where habit interfered with my desire to not swear.  If I was going to lose my temper, I went into my room until I was calm.  I went into my office at work and counted to ten and stayed there until the peace came.  It was not easy.  I had to learn that putting myself in the same place elicited the same unwanted response.  I had to learn to walk down a different street.
Today, I am much happier.  I am not perfect, but I feel good about my language now.  For the most part, I am not ashamed for my children to hear me speak.  I know that they also see I am walking on a different street.  I know that they have seen the power of change in my life.

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

None of us can change our past.  It is gone into the whisper of time, but each of us has the power to change whatever we are and become whoever we would like to be.  I can promise that it won't be easy.  But I can also promise that it will be worth it.  


  1. Change is really hard! OVer the past few years, God has been showing me how much I try to be self sufficient. Each time I start getting proud about my self sufficiency, I am struck down with an illness where I just CAN'T do it all. I've had mono 3 times, walking pneumonia, and just in the past 2 years, ended up on bed rest twice with pregnancies. I've been forced to allow others to see my home in shambles. I've had to learn to allow others to be blessed by blessing me by helping out. I've even had to allow others to do my laundry and clean my toilets! Change is not easy, but when God wants us to learn something, He makes sure it happens!

  2. Change isn't easy for any of us. The natural man is just so much easier to choose, but we know it doesn't make us happy. We really are so blessed to be able to make changes and repent.

  3. Beautifully said! I haven't heard the poem before, I like it.

  4. Thank you all so much for your comments. You are so right Audra. Change is hard! But it is also wonderful. Valerie, if I could just quit choosing the natural man, I know my life would be so much easier! And Kelly, I am glad you like that poem. Call it one from my many days of counseling. It has come to mean a lot to me, especially because I think it describes life and the mistakes I make so very well.