Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cheerfulness Taught by Reason

Cheerfulness Taught by Reason
 By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I think we are too ready with complaint
In this fair world of God’s. Had we no hope
Indeed beyond the zenith and the slope
Of yon gray blank of sky, we might be faint
To muse upon eternity’s constraint
Round our aspirant souls. But since the scope
Must widen early, is it well to droop,
For a few days consumed in loss and taint?
O pusillanimous Heart, be comforted,—
And, like a cheerful traveller, take the road—
Singing beside the hedge. What if the bread
Be bitter in thine inn, and thou unshod
To meet the flints?—At least it may be said,
“Because the way is short, I thank thee, God!”

About This Poem

“Cheerfulness Taught by Reason” was published in Browning’s book A Drama of Exile: and other poems (H. G. Langley, 1845).  It is true, we are often all too ready to complain, but God is on our side.  God provides us with hope and happiness, it is only without Him that we could truly complain. If there was no God, we would have right to become weak and feel like our aspirations are constrained by an empty eternity, but because there is much more in life beyond that where there is God, we shouldn’t complain when we have a few bad days. Our cowardly hearts should be comforted and we should move on happily. Even if we come across some bad times, at least this life God has given us is short and afterwards we can have paradise for eternity. To put that more succinctly, on this journey to happiness, we must be prepared to run into bumps in the road, but know in the end it will get better. Even if in the end you feel as if the journey has taught you nothing, you must be thankful that the journey was short.

This poem was, in my opinion, a perfect companion to my post yesterday.  My road has been bumpy and the journey has been arduous, but I persevered and kept God by my side, and I am much happier because of it.


silvereagle said...

So, some bumps in the road...and the trouble in Knoxville was certainly one of them...but you made the trip, not on the schedule you outlined, but you made it successfully and now you are in Vermont!! Life happens....and be sure to get lots and lots of Antifreeze and Snow tires or chains, or there might be bumps, potholes, and even worse in your journey in the future months.....great post by the way...and you are better for the detours of your life before reaching the good road ahead.

Michael Dodd said...

Well, that photo is a reason to be cheerful!
St. Teresa once said that life can be like a night in a bad inn. People often think this means that life is awful, but I think she meant, "Meh! It's one night!"

Amanda said...

Very good outlook to have. Always have a positive attitude and know that this life is short and enjoy every second of it. I'm thankful that Someone is always there for us even when we don't feel like it can be true.