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Know of a good way to find the answer to life's problems?

by Bob Stealey

EDITOR

"Solutions" is the subject I'd like to address in Bob'n'Along this morning.

Golly, where to start! Solutions are just about everywhere -- everywhere there's a problem or a challenge. Why, right here in this newspaper there's a solution -- to the regular Sunday crossword puzzle. And perhaps so much more!

How do you reach solutions? Maybe with a pencil and paper, if it's a mathematical problem, for example. Or possibly by conferring with an expert or simply just by phoning a friend. (And that's my final answer, right Regis?)

Sometimes you can reach a solution by yourself, simply by exercising good ol' common sense.

One way I've discovered really helps is through praying. No, I don't always get exactly what I seek when I pray. Sometimes things happen that are quite a long way from what I originally wanted. But never fear, there are always results to my prayers, even if it's nothing -- right at that time.

Now I'm not trying to convey the idea to my readers that I'm never frustrated with the way things turn out for me. Nor do I pretend that I always pray for desired results. Usually, in fact, it's the other way 'round -- I'm rushing into a situation and I want an answer and I want it right now! And hey, I can't even count the number of times I've been disappointed.

Somehow, though, I feel that when I'm praying for a solution to a problem or a need, even if the outcome is different from what's desired, I'm on solid ground with my approach -- if I pray. That is, I'll at least know whether it's to be or not to be.

One "secret" to effective praying is apparently what I'm just learning: It's not all non-stop talking on my part until I'm finished, then "amen." That sounds a bit like a radio operator who, at the end of his spiel, closes with "over" or "over and out." No, I think prayer involves a lot of listening, too. I believe that the Spirit speaks, as well as listens, to us in our prayers. The "trick" is to be still long enough to hear -- to entwine our spirits with His, in a sense.

His will is perfect -- always remember that.

n n n

Phyllis Pilewski has submitted to me a few lines of verse. Although the author is unknown, it is titled "The Cold Within" and reads as follows:

Six humans trapped by happenstance in black and bitter cold,

Each possessed a stick of wood, or so the story's told.

Their dying fire in need of logs, the first woman held hers back,

For on the faces around the fire she noticed one was black.

The next man looking 'cross the way saw one not of his church,

And couldn't bring himself to give the fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes; he gave his coat a hitch.

Why should his log be put to use, to warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought of the wealth he had in store,

And how to keep what he had earned from "the lazy, shiftless poor."

The black man's face bespoke revenge, as the fire passed from his sight,

For all he saw in his stick of wood was a chance to spite the white.

And the last man of this forlorn group did naught except for gain:

Giving only to those who gave was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in death's stilled hands, were proof of human sin.

They didn't die from the cold without; they died from the cold within.

Have a great week ahead!

Exponent-Telegram Editor Bob Stealey can be reached by phone at (304) 626-1438, or by e-mail at rstealey@exponent-telegram.com.

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