what is your mettle?

The mettle of a man is tested in adversities and he,
who remains firm in his beliefs comes out shining.

Sam Veda


(a hammer not up to the task / Julie Cook / 2020)

Definition of mettle
1a: vigor and strength of spirit or temperament (see TEMPERAMENT sense 1a)
a girl of … mettle who lost a baby brother to leukemia
— Bill Zehme
b: staying quality: STAMINA
equipment that proved its mettle
proved his mettle in battle
2: quality of temperament or disposition
gentlemen of brave mettle
— William Shakespeare
on one’s mettle
: aroused to do one’s best

Are you up to the task?
A time is coming, very soon, that you will be tried and tested.
What is the depth of your mettle?

Do not fear what you are about to suffer.
Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison,
that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation.
Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Revelation 2:10

out of sync

This search for happiness can knock us out of sync with God. As the life of Jesus makes clear, keeping in sync with God is about obedience. Any other pursuit will get in the way.
Franklin Graham

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(the grackles are back / Julie Cook / 2015)

A common visitor to the yard, in the quiet dull grey winter months, is the common grackle.
A lanky gregarious bird who reminds one of that over the top boisterous relative who comes periodically to visit, wreaking havoc on one’s usually quiet, calm and orderly world.
The grackles swoop in by the hundreds, like a giant black undulating cloud, shape shifting against th bleak cold backdrop of sky.
Loud,
noisy,
obnoxious. . .

So imagine my confusion today when that oh so familiar black squawky loud cloud of winter descended on the yard in the middle of a hot, sweltering August morning.
Hummmm. . .

They swooped in by the hundreds—darting through the early morning sprinklers spraying a desperately thirsty lawn. They chased the regular birds from the feeders. They pecked and groused at the mourning doves. They filled the trees like a million black frigidity leaves. They devoured the stale bread I’d thrown out for the crows. Even the rabbits ran for cover when the shifting black cloud landed, blanketing the lawn like a heavy black curtain.
The silent genteel Southern morning calm now punctuated with the herky jerky jabbering din of chaos.

As to why this unseasonal visitation, I can’t exactly say—but I will say that it has brought a bit of lively vigor to this otherwise oppressively hot, dog day, sensory dulling, summer’s end. . .
I can’t help but feel a bit out of sync with this topsy turvy season business and wonder what, or more precisely who, just might show up next. . . .

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