Sometimes, we think we are making progress on a personal, professional, or social situation… only to suffer a setback. Although, the events of the setback, seem almost tragic at the time, they are merely bumps in the road to our “perfected self.” Afterall, we are only passing through Earth on our way to Eternity.
This thought gives me the courage to plod on…following my own path. Someone might intentionally be negative or hurtful to us. Maybe we are demoted at work or even lose employment. Sometimes, a loved one tells us that they no longer are “in love” with us…or even worse…have betrayed us with infidelity. And how often have we all had to actually hear things about ourselves that we knew to be false? How do we react; how do we deal? It is not always easy, but I try to take the higher road.
This does not mean that you don’t react at all… and just walk away without efforts to understand or correct the situation at the time. However, it must be done with Honor and with Integrity. Do not retaliate with nasty words or hasty deeds. It brings nothing if not more hurt. Ultimately, the opposer will forget the incident and you will carry the burden of guilt in how poorly you handled the test/challenge as it was presented to you by God.
What helps me with negative situations is to ask myself: “Is this the worst thing that has ever happened to me?” “When I’m done here with my time on Earth… how much will this test/challenge mean?” “Does this define who I am as a person?” Or in the past few years, ” Does this take away from what I’ve already accomplished?” The answer is always… no.
Even the most heartfelt attempts to correct a wrong are not always successful. That makes me see things more clearly. Life isn’t meant to be easy.
It can’t be said enough…as challenging as each of our own current situations might be…there is always someone who faces a greater challenge. Our newest world tragedy, is the devastation facing the children of several African countries (KONY 2012). Americans will need to lend support in many ways. Let’s face it, if you are reading this blog, you not only can read, but have access to a computer. If you are inside… removed from the pouring rain in the southeast, that amazingly still shows the remnants of hurricane Katrina several years ago, or the continuous unstable weather in the plains states, or fires and continuous earthquake threats in California, you are also blessed. And yes, if those weather patterns are meaningful to you… then you most likely live in the United States or immediate vicinities. We are blessed when we live in an environment that has consistantly allowed us to renew, redo, or rebuild our lives. This is regardless of tests and challenges.
This country affords all so many opportunities and a quality of life that’s beyond compare. But, with that said: There are so many this year who will feel “un” thankful because they have lost jobs and/or their homes, are deep in credit woes and can’t pay current bills ( let alone prepare for the months ahead), or might even have a loved one in the Armed Forces where there is always uncertainty. Personally, I continue to pray and believe that someone in my own immediate family will find their way to a better life. Yes, life is filled with tests and challenges, but also filled with abundant wonder and goodness.
All of these are real tests in real times. I challenge everyone to look not at the negatives in their individual lives, but rather look at all the wonders of your life. It matters not our individual challenges at this time, but rather our individual gifts; they are abundant. Look at them from an outsider’s perspective. The cup overflows.
What is absolutely liberating to think about, is the reality that all Men, everywhere… are created equal. We really are. It’s almost so simple, that at first glance, it might be overlooked. In contemplation, we see the sameness. We all have the same basic needs for: food, clothing, and shelter; the same basic desires for: love, understanding, and compassion; and the same non-ending tests and challenges to not only be better people for ourselves, but for the world around us. Every Man, every nation, everywhere.
As we continue through the year, let us focus not on what we don’t have, but rather focus on what we already have been given. LIFE! Life is good, although not always easy. Do something with it that makes the world a better place for those following in our footsteps. No change is too small. No action is too little. Life is our gift and the liberation is knowing all men, everywhere, start out the same. And… By the Grace of God, hopefully, meet up in Eternity… as ONE!
Please watch STAND BY ME on the video bar. I see it as: The “oneness” of all men. Embrace Life!