Secret of the Wheelbarrow


Carrying yesterday’s junk leaves no room for today’s treasures.


About five years ago I bought a new wheelbarrow for the purpose of gardening. However, this spring when I went out to use my wheelbarrow, I found it was useless.

It was useless because of the television, the one that had stopped working a long time ago. I needed to get rid of it; it was useless junk from my past. It was super heavy, too big a burden to carry, so I loaded it onto the wheelbarrow to transport it and then I got sidetracked and left it—for two months!

Recently, I needed to use the wheelbarrow to move dirt as it was time to garden, but when I went out to get it, I realized that I couldn’t put anything in it unless I emptied it.

It wasn’t until I took hold of the handles, guided the wheelbarrow to the barn and unloaded the television that I could use it again for gardening, its original purpose.


I think our minds are like my wheelbarrow (or any vessel for that matter). So long as we are filled with junk from the past, we are useless in the present.

So often we begin each day with associations to the ones gone before. Each day is a new beginning, but ONLY if we empty the wheelbarrow. There is a passage in the Book of Psalms where David says, “This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” He is telling us that he started over, every morning with gratitude.

There is also a passage in the Tao Te Ching that talks about how the usefulness of a vessel is in the emptiness of the vessel. Only when my wheelbarrow was emptied of the past, could I use it in the present.


In the Book of Hebrews Paul says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” NOW. Not yesterday, not twenty years ago, not this morning. Right now. Faith works in the present. It is in the present that we call those things into existence that we may not see with our physical eyes, but if we see them with our spirits, they have no choice but to manifest.

In Hebrews 11:3, Paul teaches us, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” The reference to the word of God here comes from an old Greek word, Rhema (hray-mah) and means a literal utterance, especially a narrative or a command. Solomon tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. In other words, when we speak of a thing or dwell on a thing, we draw that thing to ourselves.

If we hang onto negative narratives of the past, old junk, regardless of who put it there, we can’t move forward into today, we cannot know true peace and purpose. I know people who still live in their high school mentality, some who are holding thirty-year-old grudges, some who are hanging onto to pain from childhood, some who simply can’t move on because everyday they wake up with their wheelbarrows full of yesterday’s junk.

So long as we are wheeling around yesterday’s junk we can’t enjoy today’s treasures.

The usefulness of a vessel doesn’t lie in its fullness but in its continuously being emptied and refilled.

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

Secrets to a Happy Life from Mother Teresa

Love is incapable of self-centeredness.

Love is not self-centered.

Be Kind and Forgiving.

“People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.”

It’s only in forgiving others that we can find freedom. If we wish to know release from bitterness, then we must let go of past wrongs. As Wayne Dyer said, “There are no justified resentments.” 

“If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.”

Kindness is the quickest way to get rid of an enemy. Returning evil for evil, blow for blow, just keeps the cycle of violence and hurt going. 

Shine Your Light and Build Your Dreams.

“If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies. Succeed anyway.”

Dimming your light won’t make others shine brighter.

“If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway.

The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians that speaking the truth in love helps us to grow.

“What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.”

Nothing in life is permanent. Everything made my humanity fades, withers and gives itself to entropy  eventually. However, while we are here, the things we create and build give joy to so many.

Do Good and Be Happy.

“If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The old cliché “misery loves company” is true. Feeling guilty over being happy will not make anyone else’s life better. It will only rob you of your life’s strength. Remember that there is vitality and strength in joy.

“The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.”

People are often fickle and forgetful. It might be easy to feel like we deserve some recognition or accolades for the good we do, but Jesus taught that the reason for doing good is not to be remembered. The reason we do good is because it is in our hearts to do it.  We have nothing to prove. Doing good is its own reward.

Follow Your Bliss and Know God.

“Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.”

There will always be those who don’t understand, those who criticize. The late Joseph Campbell called them “dream killers.” Don’t let anyone’s view of you keep you from following your bliss.

“You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

In conclusion, as my dad once said, “A lot of people say a lot of things about me, but none of what they say matters. It only matters what God says.”

I’d like to say, that a lot of people say a lot of things about all of us, but the majority of the things they say about us only matter if we believe them. Each one of us has our own personal path to walk and in the end what counts most is how true we were to that path.  All we will take with us when we cross over is the love we give and the love we receive. Everything else is temporal.

Do it anyway. 

Joy in the Journey

I discovered that joy is in the journey, not merely the destination.

I used to get disappointed. I’d have high hopes for some event or some special outcome, and when folks didn’t show up or it got rained out or my car wouldn’t start or any number of unforeseen things burst my high-flying balloon, I’d get irritable. I would make plans and I was attached to an expected outcome. When things didn’t turn out like I wanted, I failed to see the blessings often disguised as shortcomings or failures. Thankfully, I’ve grown some, and now I realize that joy is in the journey, not in a perfectly charted outcome. I’m learning to be attached to nothing, open to everything. In other words, to trust, to “let go and let God.”

What About Tomorrow?

When I was a kid people around here would talk about their plans for the future. The old folks I knew were often hesitant to make a definite commitment to be somewhere or carry out some ironclad plan, so they’d say, “I’ll be there, Lord willin’ and the creeks don’t rise.” Now, growing up in a flood plane puts a deep (pun intended) spin on that old saying and the one that follows, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”  They knew life is uncertain and unpredictable, so even though they might make a commitment, they always left things just a little open-ended, because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow or after while. Often we fret, ponder and muse over future events and how they will unfold. Truthfully, the only moment we really have is the one we’re in. Yesterday is a memory and everything that happened before now is no longer reality; tomorrow is fleeting because when it gets here it’s always today, always just right now. So, if we are thankful now, appreciative now, filled with wonder now, kind now, then we end up with good memories and high hopes. We literally move from one joyous moment to the next.

Mind of a Jedi

I guess I’ve got movies on the brain at this moment. I am recalling a scene in Star Wars where Yoda scolds Luke Skywalker for always being where he is going rather than where he is. When we live in the past or the future, we rob ourselves of the now, of the journey. Sadness is regret over yesterday. Anxiousness is worry over tomorrow that things might not turn out right. True power is found in the art of being present, being mindful of now, being fully in the moment and appreciating the people around you. We don’t have the power to change others and we don’t have a commission to control them. We owe no one anything except to love them. That means to see them for who they are, value them and show kindness. Being kind is the most spiritual thing you can do–ever. At least, that is what I currently believe. Being kind stops hatred before it’s born.

Take no Thought

We worry about sickness, about finances, about where we will live, what we will eat and on and on it goes. We are constantly concerned about the end results and the final destination, but as King Mongkut says in Anna and the King, “…roads are for journeys…not destinations.” Bilbo Baggins comes to my mind; he told Frodo in Lord of the Rings that when you step outside your door, you never know where the path will take you and of the old saying, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Life is uncertain, change is inevitable. Jesus said not (take no thought) to worry about tomorrow, but trust I Am to provide what we need when we need it, not before. I believe we are spirit beings having a physical experience. We are eternal entities playing on a temporal playground. The trouble happens when we begin to believe that this is all there is. No. This is merely a temporary trip into time and corporeal existence. When the bell rings, the whistle blows, we will return home and this life will be a memory. We were put in this world to have an abundant life, a beautiful life, a blessed life, not to fret and worry about how long we will be here or how much stuff we can gather along the way.

There are No Winners, No Losers

This existence is not a contest. There are no winners and losers in the end. We are here to experience, to give and receive love. I think all of us come into the world with good intentions but sometimes we get lost along the way. We get off the perfect path for our lives. We stray from the way, forgetting who we are and why we are here. Any time worry, fear, anxiety, anger, criticism, jealousy, bitterness, or any other dark emotion rises up inside of us, we are momentarily straying from our pathway.

When our inner being (the Bible calls it our spirit man/woman/person) is ill at ease over a direction we’re going in, it is to our own advantage to change directions and go in the path that brings us inner peace and this, following this path of inner peace, is how we obtain joy in the journey. I’ve heard some people refer to it as the path of least resistance. The Apostle Paul called it being “led by the spirit” and letting the “peace of God rule (umpire, call the shots) in your heart.” This is the way to abundant life. Abundant life is not found in possessions, not found in fame, not found in being beautiful, not found in being talented or smart. Abundant life is found in being in tune with and led by the spirit of God, I Am.