Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Troubling? Experiences? Troubling Experiences?

I'm grateful for the challenges I've had in my life. A very funny thing for which one would be thankful for sure. Still, I have to express my gratitude for the challenges I've faced in my life that have made me stronger, that have brought me down a notch, that have helped me with clarity. Troubling experiences have been the foundation of much of what I see as me.

While I lived in Japan, I struggled to maintain a healthy level of nutrition in my food. I just did not have the funds necessary to do it. Since that time, I have found it very easy to be grateful for any food. I know what it is like to go without and I know how blessed I am that I am not hungry. Now, this also comes with a little bit of a kicker. When I see another asking for help, just a few coins, because they are hungry. I cannot pass them up without giving what I can. Good or bad, that's just how I roll anymore.

Challenges in my life have provided me a certain strength that I never knew before. If life were always easy, I would not realize the struggles some people face and how they must be addressed. I realize that some mistakes people have made aren't always out of stubborness or ignorance. Sometimes, forces outside of mortal control interfere with what might be an otherwise successful life. Humility has never been a strong part of my personality. Challenges in my life have helped me to recognize this, however.

The troubles I've faced in my life have helped recognize God's hand in everything. I can clearly see how the larger picture is greater than I am. My place in this great forever is small in comparison to the real goal. Challenges in my life have helped recognize the role service plays in helping us become better people. As we serve others, our challenges seem to become less important. Clarity truly sets us free from self-pity, self-loathing, and selfishness. This clarity is provided by way of serving our neighbor.
“If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.” ~ John Heywood
I am grateful for the troubles that have beset me in my life. I am grateful for challenges that teach me better who I am and what I can become. I am grateful for the incredible perspective life's challenges have granted me.
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