Adversity And Life's Journey
AUGUST 8TH, 2014 (IN REFLECTIONS) By Msgr. Anselm
I have great admiration for what Sir Edmund Hillary had to say after he made several unsuccessful attempts at climbing Mount Everest before he finally did so. After one of those failed attempts, he stood at the base of the mountain and shook his fist at it, and shouted: “I will defeat you yet... because you are as big as you are going to get, but I am still growing.” Waooh! What a stand to take against adversities!
The truth is that every time that Edmund climbed that mountain and failed he learned something new about it and used that knowledge to construct new attempts until he eventually overcame the mountain adversities. Life is just like that. Adversities, difficulties, and failures are likely to get into the mix of things in our lives; it is what we say to these adversities, to ourselves, and how we choose to react that will make all the difference. Some people react by rejecting God because they cannot believe that God would be so mean as to give them a bad lot in life. They believe that it is God’s job just to throw blessings after blessings upon them and the minute God fails in this (at least in their eyes) they blame Him, abandon Him and seek other alternatives. Some others, however, choose to be strengthened by adversity, learn something from it, grow stronger by it, and with determination overcome it. They learn something about being dependent upon God and trusting Him to carry them through. As Scripture says, “When you pass through raging waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, you shall not drown; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you; for I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isa. 43:2-3). God did not promise that we will not walk through raging waters or the burning flame. Rather, His promise is that we will not drown nor be burnt. Put simply, there is a spirit in us that is greater than our opposition.
It is important to always instruct oneself that success in life is a factor of the size of our dreams; the strength of purpose we bring to it; and how we successfully deal with disappointments against overwhelming odds. When we engage goals, our desire for success must be greater than anything else. Failure, in my thinking, is only postponed success as long as we allow courage and persistence to continue to coach our ambition. Ambition constitutes the path to success while commitment with persistence is the vehicle that brings one there. Persistence is that unyielding spirit never to allow energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by adversities that must inevitably show up in every determined effort.
What this means is that every brick and stone that life and others throw at us in the pursuit of our goals must be used to build a ladder to climb to success as opposed to letting those bricks knock us down and sink us into failure. Therefore, in the pursuit of goals in life, it is important to paralyze every resistance with persistence, every look-warmness with commitment, every fear with courage, every doubt with determination, every failure with reconstruction, and every obstacle with a reasoned detour. Life is always a continuous journey of learning, unlearning, relearning, and self-growth. We must never weary in creating new plans to take place of those that fail; to seek counsel from seasoned minds, to be creative and innovative with ideas nor should we ever declare goals impossible because of obstacles that lay on the wayside or let dreams go, simply because they are difficult to achieve.