We are students of life. Period. The sooner you can accept that the sooner you’ll start to be more flexible with the ebb and flow in your daily walk. Lessons to be learned, like opportunity, fly past us each day as we breathe in and breathe out. Probably the most important aspect of learning is knowing that it doesn’t just happen. We don’t live in the Matrix. For something to really burn into the hard drive between our ears it has to be impactful enough, challenging enough, so that our minds can work out and problem solve so that clarity is given ushering understanding of the problem. That is learning.
We’ve all heard of struggling but most really don’t understand the necessity for it. You’ve heard the saying, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always had”. Meaning, nothing changes; nothing new comes into your life. It is NECESSARY to be open to new paths, new opportunities, new lessons to be learned. Many people enjoy, too much, the bean bag of comfort. As a believer in Christ I know that curve balls will be thrown my way. The New Testament talks about refinement and Job went through a refinement in the Old Testament. No one that I know of, to date, has been challenged as much as Job was. The dude lost literally everything. Not only did he lose everything his physical health was challenged. In today’s world, many people would’ve tapped out. But Job lived, not exactly happily, that God was in control. He was pretty much down for whatever even though it pretty much the worst thing imaginable. He knew that life was temporary and that sometimes you have to walk through a great amount of struggle, while remaining faithful, to learn and reap the inheritance of the Lord.
In today’s world, many people can’t even fathom the thought of struggle. The moment that big ole monster steps foot at the door people triple lock that door and batten down the hatches. I’d say a small percent of people are willing to answer the door, look at Struggle and say, “You ready to party? Let’s do this”. Those people know that change, positive change, is right around the corner. It’s like fighting your way to the top of a mountain. It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to take a while, you may slip and fall, get tired, hungry, cold, you may even change your mind about half-way up. But those who endure the challenge are the ones who get written about. The ones who inspire the world. The people who leave a legacy for their children, friends and communities. Those are the people others hope to be like. It’s all because they looked at Struggle, chuckled, and stepped into the octagon of life to go toe to toe all for the sake of learning and becoming stronger.
I implore with the men of today’s society to accept those challenges and rise the occasion. Our children need men who are willing to get their hands dirty, struggle and learn. Our women are not immune to this. Women struggle as well. When I think of the women in America during the 1940’s I am in awe. For the community of women to “roger up” and take on the challenge of holding down the home front while our men marched off to war is just awe-inspiring. Many veteran’s wives are those women today. Women also struggle but usually in different ways than men. Not any easier, just differently. Why? Because we ALL must grow to become great. YOU HAVE TO STRUGGLE TO GROW. Growth isn’t like a pizza to be delivered from you. You don’t just pay someone for it. You can read all the self-help books you want but if you don’t put ACTION behind it nothing will happen. It’s the same thing as all the hopeful people joining a gym at the beginning of the year. A very small percentage of them are still there in July or even April or March. Good intentions, right! You have to struggle.
Celebrate when hard times come knocking. The reason most people check out or run is because they have to accountability partner or group of people to lean on in times of struggle. They shut people out and try to manage it on their own. Let me know how that works out for ya. On the other hand, you don’t always NEED another human to lean on, but it helps. For me, and many others, I always go to God and say something along these lines, “Alright, here we go. Time to learn and refine myself. I’m going to need your constant guidance, strength and endurance. Please walk with me and help me to know your will and end result for this trial”. For me, this past year has been revolutionary in my life. I’ve said YES to direct sales which was a HUGE obstacle to overcome for me, and is still a challenge, and I’ve been open to opportunities as they have come my way. I have had to trim the fat on friendships meaning cutting away those people who bring me down. I’ve tried to lean more into my support group and my family. My relationship with God is the strongest it’s ever been. I still struggle weekly. People may not see it but I do. Refinement is not easy. I stumble but am in constant learning; trying to fine tune who I am and my purpose.
For those who accept struggle, I commend you. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. Whether it’s a veteran struggling with PTSD or feeling like they have no purpose, financial, marital, struggles with children, etc., just know that you CAN and WILL make it through. This quote couldn’t be more true:
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche