I couldn’t sleep

Counting sheep didn’t work. Playing games on the iPad only woke me up. I took 2 sleeping tablets – didn’t work. Asked God to let me nod off, but it only brought some old sayings which I love into my head. So here they are.

It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion.

Living lions are pretty majestic but dead what are they? Rotting carcasses, taxidermist specimens, mats on the floor or draped over someone’s shoulders to make them think they’re important. My dogs keep the wallabies out of the garden, lift up my hand when I’m trying to type to be patted. My wife says that I mustn’t feed them at the table but they put their heads on my thigh and look up so pleadingly. I guess Solomon may have had a deeper meaning about useless and useful living but I just think of my dogs – so many of them over the years, playmates as kids, guard dogs in Ethiopia, now just friends!

A nagging wife is worse than a dripping tap.

I’m so glad my wife doesn’t let the tap drip often. I guess living years ago Solomon got away with his sexist proverb! I love the story of the American Indian who called his wife ‘Three Horses’. Eventually someone asked him why that name. ‘It’s simple’ he replied ‘nag, nag, nag!’

I had a Rumanian Plastic surgeon with whom I did lots of deformed chest surgery (pidgeon and sunken chests etc.) He had 2 sayings which I will never forget. He had escaped across the iron curtain.

  1. Doctors are like horse manure – spread them out thinly and they fertilize the community, put them in a heap and they breed worms and stink. Remember I’m a retired doctor but the fees some specialists charge these days make me angry.
  2. People think dying is the worst thing that can happen, but failing to do what you know you should is much worse! I tie this in with a statement of Jim Elliot, who died doing what he thought he should and his death achieved great results. He said He is no fool to give that which he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose’.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove that you are! I think one needs to earn the right to talk about certain things. James, the brother of Jesus, wrote ‘you talk about your faith, I’ll show you mine by the way I live.’ Talking is necessary but can be so hollow!

Almost every night I get an SMS message from one of my sons I love you dad!’ and all my kids are very caring and expressive of their love. I fell to sleep, hearing softly in my mind, as my prayer was eventually answered, ‘And I love you son!’.

Dominic Cartier

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