MY SUNDAY JOURNAL
By Dalton Roberts
TOTIN' OUT THE GARBAGE
In 1988 when I was procrastinating over a necessary but unpleasant task,
I stumbled onto a great truth of some kind that solved the problem for
me. I say "truth of some kind" because I'm not sure if it's a
spiritual truth or merely a mental trick that works. But whatever works
and helps us live better is, in reality, some part spiritual.
It was not will power. There may have been a few times in my life when I
could just make myself do something unpleasant, but that's not the great
truth I discovered on this date in 1988.
Neither was reward the trick. There have certainly been those times when
I have agreed with myself to reward me for doing something I didn't want
to do. Like saying, "If you get your income tax filed today, I will
take you to Baskin Robbins for a banana split." But most of the
time when I really have a mental block against doing something, no
reward seems good enough for me to shake myself and go face the
Neither was punishment an answer. Telling myself I am going to fast
until I do something unpleasant has never worked one time. Nor spanking
myself. Nor piercing myself with sharp stones and throwing sand in the
air. Neither did parental threats in my childhood work very often with
So what was it that saved me back in ‘88, that enabled me to get up
off the stool of do-thing and do what I desperately dreaded? I hate to
tell you because simple things are never viewed by us as answers. We
want something complicated we have to type up and memorize.
Well, this simple truth has helped me break these log jams better than
anything. And its to do it as casually as you would carry out the
Nobody I know loves to carry out the garbage. But we do it. Why is it
always something we do? Because we don't make a big deal out of it.
When you faced an unpleasant task, just see it as a garbage sack to tote
to the curb. Get up and do it. Don't give it time to make itself a big
deal in your mind.
BETWEEN THE SHOULDERS
The writer of Deuteronomy had certainly seen a mother swan transport her
babies. The baby swans climb upon her back and ride between her
shoulders. It's one of the cutest sights I have ever seen and I am a
close observer of nature.
So he wrote, "The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him;
and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell
between His shoulders."
We are basically helpless in so many ways. No matter how strong we may
be in one area of our lives, we have other areas where we are dumb as a
We need to ask for more free rides on God's back. When we hit one of our
dumb two-by-four spots, the most important thing we can do is to say,
"I am ignorant here." Brother Dave Gardner used to talk about
our need for "schools of ignorance," where we could go to
learn that all of us have our ignorant places.
If our natural child confessed, "I don't know how to do this,"
we would be glad to help them through it. Is our Divine Parent any
different? Is God less caring than a mother Swan?
No, they both specialize in free rides. Just admitting our ignorance is
one of the most powerful acts we will ever do. And asking for help.