Adversity – Weathering the Unexpected

Adversity

Living a good life and making good choices does not guarantee that bad things will not happen to you. They will! This is the reality of life and, like the forest, it is filled with the unexpected. As you venture into the unknown, much will happen in your journey that you may or may not have control over. The winter may arrive suddenly when you were prepared for warmer days, or briars and debris may slow your pace. One thing for certain is that beyond each turn and beyond each blind corner the unforeseen lays waiting and ready to block the way, encompassing your world like a bad dream. And yet, quite possibly your pathway may clear to a wide-open meadow where, from a distance, you are able to view the next trial soon to be faced. Even in this scenario, hopefully you will realize that regardless of fair warning, the inevitable confrontation will eventually play out once you decide to face the monster that lays in wait across the meadow at the edge of the clearing. The only difference is that you are given a bit more time before you must begin the march into battle. And so your journey, which started “Once upon a time,” continues on as you plant your own footsteps and travel your own path with hopes of finding a place where you will live “happily ever after.”

In painting a picture of adversity with monsters lurking in the shadows of a forest, I do not intend to darken the mind of the reader but rather to give a fairy tale view or insight on how to look at life’s challenges. If you would, for just a moment, see your journey among the trees as a story told where you are the author of the tale and the creator of what will be, then power can be found in your pen. Tales, legends and folklore have been around for thousands of years, and through imaginations were created to teach lessons and morals and give hope to any who would listen. When I think of the old fairy tales of knights in shining armor and godmother’s magical spells turning rags into riches, I imagine a very dark age where life was a challenge just to physically survive, unless of course you were born into nobility. Those stories gave visions of hope for the peasant to live like a princess and the commoner to live like a king. To the poorest among them, imagination brought escape from their hardships even though they were only fairy tales.

Our modern world offers with its pleasantries many forms of adversity. From physical illness, mental anguish, financial distress, emotional devastation and spiritual confusion it is no wonder the stories many write feel more like thrillers rather than talked-about tales. How than can one write their story so it will be looked back on as a triumph rather than a tragedy, regardless of the wars and woes? Simply, it is not just in the fight but also in how the fight changes you. It is not so important as to what happens to you, as it is with how you let it change and shape your character. Pain really is inevitable; we all must endure it at many times within our lives. Whether your monsters have spikes and barbs that cut through to the soul, as might be the case when ones spouse is unfaithful or incest has done everything it can to kill your spirit, or whether it is a dragon that breathes fiery flames that continues to scorch you through debilitating illness or poverty, you must fight. But as important as the fight is, how you let those experiences change you really is most important. Do you let bitterness become part of your character as you blame God for not rescuing you because “bad things should not happen to good people?” After all, how could He let you suffer in such a way? Or, do you seek to find compassion and understanding for others who have wronged you even though they may not deserve it?

You are writing your own story, and YOU are the main hero. It is a shame, however, that some people cast their own role as the villain and take pride in that part. I do believe that evil exists in this world, and if you are cast as a villain look to see whom your master is. The casts of characters have stature as well. Is your character tall or small, grand or grasping to be seen? No one can play your part, so why not make certain that you learn before the curtain is drawn just what is needed to make your tale worthy to be spoken in the breath of future generations.

Finally, I talked earlier of those born into nobility; well, that is you and me. If your story is seen from a higher view, you truly are of noble birth. Each and every one of us is born to a Father in Heaven who is king over all the earth, and even though we may be born to a status not so grand in our earthly family, that does not change our spiritual role. Now, some of you may question this, and to you I ask, “It is your story; why would you choose or want anything less?”

In Other’s Words:

“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

~G.K. Chesterton~

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