Dream word – THANKFUL
“There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel - that will stand.” NKJV
The ploughman’s poet
Rabbie Burns, the bard of Ayrshire, poet, lyricist, Scotland’s most famous son, is tonight celebrated worldwide especially amongst the Scottish Diaspora, because tonight of course, is “Burns Night”!
Without me going into the ritual and content of Burns Night supper, which is co-centred around a haggis and a speech made to the immortal memory of Rabbie Burns, let me cut to the end of the night, where the proceeding are closed with a favourite collection of some of the songs and poems of this most famous ploughman’s poet.
My favourite Burns poem is “Tae a Moose” or better still maybe, “To a Mouse”. This great poem is peppered with sadness, regret, remorse, tenderness and soulish association. The poem centres very simply, around the destruction of a mouse nest but in so doing, it most profoundly portrays the basic theme, that mere mortals of all sizes and souls, of all desires and drives, even though they make best their plans for the future, often the unexpected, unplanned for and often times disastrous, will come upon them. The last two stanzas read as follows:
But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me;
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects dreaer!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!
One example of this poem’s consistent influence is the fact that Nobel Prize winning author, John Steinbeck, changed the original title of his first play-novelette to one of the lines of this poem and called it, Of Mice and Men. Set in the American depression of the 1930’s this work, currently on the American Library Association's list at no 4 in “The Most Challenged Books of the 21st century,” portrays in the most magnificent, moving, and yet depressive terms, that no man made plan is fool-proof and that no one, absolutely no one, can be completely prepared for the future. Yes indeed, knowing that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” can indeed fill us with a great and debilitating fear concerning the future.
I am sure of one thing tonight, that fear concerning the future will rob us of the enjoyment of the present. It is ever and always an active decision of ours not to let that happen. Indeed, we cannot have true contentment without an enjoyment that leads to satisfaction. So according to our Lord Jesus, let us feast on the day we have been given, plan and prepare for the future as much as is right and profitable and then leave it with God. Whatever that future might be, we must leave it with God.
My present stage on this personal journey of mine leaves tonight’s text filling me with a strange mixture of both confusion and peace. Nevertheless, this statement of God stands solid and secure: the future is His!
Listen: Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. - 1 Timothy 6:6-8
Pray: Rabbie Burns (“The Selkirk Grace”)
Some hae meat and cannot eat.
Some cannot eat that want it:
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.
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