Southern style: digging out from beneath

tsj column writers - southern styleBy Randall Franks

Sometimes there are points in life when one reflects on topics that bring worry, sadness, concern or even depression.

They can pile up on our mind like leaves falling from the trees in autumn covering the roots that feed our soul.

Beneath the pile it gets hard to see a way out of the depths. Even the beauty of the arrival of spring or families gathering to celebrate the joy of days such as Easter, which normally should uplift our spirits, can also find a reason weigh down upon the pile.

I wish I could say, it’s a beautiful day, so go buy a rake and bag up the leaves, so the flowers that are emerging beneath the tree can shoot their blossoms up with greater ease.

But oftentimes, we find that beneath the leaves the potential has withered due to the heavy covering.

It is in times like these, spiritually that I must make effort to connect even more to the roots beneath those leaves – the people who care about me, and the Word of God which is the main food of my soul.

By engaging in the Word and in the lives of those around me, especially those who need a helping hand, I find that I can breathe again and the layers of sadness and concern seem to weigh less heavily.

The problems that seemed so heavy are lightened when compared with the needs of others.

As I reach out to help, the worry that permeated each moment seeming to take my breath is replaced by the effort to make a difference for others.

Sometimes when we feel like we are trapped down in the mine, the only way to feel less trapped is to join those who are trying to dig us out of the hole.

We can make a difference in the world even when we don’t feel we can, in fact sometimes we will find ourselves in the reactions and response of others as we work to make things better around us.

So head to the hardware store, buy a rake, a shovel, and anything else you need to make the world around you better and get to it.

You may find those heavy feelings replaced by hope, kindness and enthusiasm.

(Randall Franks is an award-winning musician, singer and actor. He is best known for his role as “Officer Randy Goode” on TV’s “In the Heat of the Night” now on WGN America. His latest CD release, “Mississippi Moon,” is by Crimson Records. He is a member of the Independent Country Music Hall of Fame. His latest book is “Encouragers I : Finding the Light.” He is a syndicated columnist for http://randallfranks.com/ and can be reached at rfrankscatoosa@gmail.com.)


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