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Through the years, I have loved the Ohio River, and it never ceases to be an inspiration to me. I always remember that the Ohio River flows into the Mississippi River which makes me think of the song:
“He don’t plant ‘taters, he don’t plant cotton,
Them that plants it are soon forgotten,
But Old Man River just keeps on rollin’ along.”
As I sit looking at the river, I remember that there were times when the Ohio wasn’t always so peaceful and tranquil. Growing up my folks always talked about the 1937 Flood when the river overflowed its banks – the crops were ruined, houses were destroyed, people were hurt by it. However, through the long years each flood has left a deposit of rich topsoil. Gradually the floods have enriched the land, and some of the most fertile land in the nation includes the delta area of the Mississippi.
The floods of disappointment, frustration, sorrow and all the others come sweeping over our lives. But we keep on going, and somehow out of the disappointments we find ourselves enriched. After the flood, the beauty of life becomes even more beautiful.
A person can be wounded. Life sometimes cuts deeply and hurts terribly. If we do not cleanse them carefully, our wounds can become infected. Bitterness is an infection. So is anger or hatred or jealousy or worry. The wounds of life can foster discouragement and hopelessness – a “what’s the use?” spirit. Hurt lives can be wrecked and destroyed. On the other hand, no matter what happens, we need to keep believing in ourselves and others. Let the floods come, but we keep a right spirit, and out of the wounds of life will come our greatest blessings.
Every year we see marvelous and wonderful progress in the field of medical science. At one time diphtheria was one of the dreaded diseases of humankind. But today, nobody is afraid of diphtheria. It has practically been eliminated. So has smallpox and polio. Pneumonia used to be a dreaded disease, but today, physicians have medicines that can deal with pneumonia. Great progress is being made in the field of cancer. Medical science marches on to new heights.
However, in spite of all the great progress in medicine, our doctors’ offices are more crowded today than ever before. Perhaps much of the illness of today is in the person’s mind. Maybe we haven’t made much progress in the areas of worry, fear, stress, overwork and under-rest, alcohol, diet, anxiety and tension, and such things. We’re grateful for the medicines that protect our bodies from the enemies that would destroy. We also need more medicine for the protection of our minds.
Early in life I was taught to pray, and I’ve never ceased. Every day, several times, I pray. I pray when I am so busy I don’t have time to pray. I know that when I don’t have time to pray, then it is time to pray. After I pray, then I go back to my job, and I realize that I can get more work done than I accomplished before.
My mind is clearer; I have a greater sense of power and joy and satisfaction. I feel more creative. Like the mighty river, I just keep rolling along.
Bob Mueller is the vice-president of development at Hosparus. The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.