How Do I Handle This? Some Answers for the Battles of Life - A Prescription and a Method by Jim Taylor


by Mike Cumpston

photography by Mike Cumpston

December 7th, 2005




" …Beyond this place of wrath and tears

looms but the horror of the shade

and yet the menace of the years

finds and shall find me unafraid.


It matters not how straight the gait,

How charged with punishment the scroll

I am the master of my fate

I am the captain of my soul."

A lot of us like that one-thanking whatever Gods may be for making us tough and then having the good grace to leave us pretty much alone.  On the whole, it works pretty well and gets us across the major and minor hurdles. In so far as our blinders shut out contrary data, it allows us to maintain a very good opinion of ourselves.  But what do we do for act two?  Whence cometh our help (a little King James there) when the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune bring home the incontrovertible fact that, far from being the captain of a lofty vessel, we are actually no more than a stumbling deckhand on a small raft?  It happens. It WILL happen and it happens over and over again.  Eventually, the lesson sinks in.

Jim Taylor's prescription is a familiar one- we've all heard it many times, but the quality of the messenger has a great deal to do with how well we receive the message.  Those of us who know him understand that Taylor is very adept with his chosen tools.  Having been out-shot by him on one or two occasions, I tend to pay attention when he starts talking guns.  Likewise his deep knowledge of the Bible has short-circuited more than one of my attempts to re-write various passages according to my own fuzzy memory.  His application of faith - grounded in study and reflection - is admirable.  I have seen him in the role of peacemaker, amazed at how skillfully he can diffuse Internet board cat -fights. Jim numbers among his friends a large collection of heathens, and Christians with strong heathenish tendencies. All of them are people of admirable character and strong talents.   He genuinely likes, respects and is willing to learn from all of them.  He is free with the kind and encouraging word and when he preaches, he preaches across and not down.  

And so, I recommend, "How Do I Handle This?  Some Answers for the Battles of Life". Read it and you will absorb it.  You will think of it again and again. It may not, and probably will not propel toward instant action but like so many things of value, the essence  of it will still be there should you find yourself adrift on a small and rudderless raft. 

"How Do I Handle This?  Some Answers for the Battles of Life" is available for a donation of any amount to:

Christ Chapel

Box 386

Mt. Vernon MO 65712

I know that you will enjoy it, and that you will find it educational and inspirational.

Mike Cumpston

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