There is certainly no shortage of challenges in this world. I find my self many times in life longing for a life without challenge. However, this thought always begs the following questions: What is learned in ease? What is accomplished in a down hill ride?
I have a story for everyone! This is a story that was told to me from a great friend and mentor Paul Jenkins. It is one of the best stories that I have ever heard! So here we go, STORY TIME!
Once upon a time there was a strong and handsome knight. This knight was admired by everyone throughout the entire kingdom. The whole kingdom was so thankful for this glorious knight. He and the princess lived happily ever after!
Is that not the greatest story you have ever heard? Of course not. Why? Because there was NO challenge. The middle part is missing from the story. There is no glory, no trial, and therefore no accomplishment. A lot of time this is what we think we long for in life, ease with no middle part, success with no trial.
Our nation is facing some of the greatest challenges that I have ever seen in my lifetime. It seems to be very popular to talk about and focus on our trials and the negative aspects of our nation, economy, and government. I don’t believe that we should be unrealistic or ignore the issues at hand, and definitely one of our purposes here is to create awareness of these issues. We should become educated about the problems and their solutions and combat them with proper action. But this can and should be done with an attitude of gratitude for the learning and growing opportunity that is being presented.
“Times of great calamity and confusion have ever been productive of the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm.”
Charles Caleb Colton
We are confronted with an amazing opportunity to unite and take flight as a people that work together to make this nation a place where every man lives in freedom and is allowed to succeed as a result of his own actions.
We see this unity with the tea parties that just happened across the nation. We as a Nation are like the drug addict who wakes up in the gutter and wonders how his life ever got so off track. Sometimes we have to drastically go down the wrong path to realize just how wrong it is. Is it better to avoid that path altogether? Of course. But sometimes a wake up call is what is needed to spur people to action. The current state of our Nation with its love affair for everything socialism is that very wake up call. Americans are starting to say, “wait a sec, I don’t think this is the direction we should be heading in…I don’t think this is what our Founding Fathers had in mind…I don’t think this is what I had in mind for me or my family” When current policy flies in the face of common sense, that is a wake up call. When some polls show that Americans only favor Capitalism over Socialism by a slight margin, that is a wake up call. When so many people around us honestly believe that government, with all its inefficiencies (understatement of the year), can properly run health care, public education, banking, the auto industry and anything for that matter, that is a wake up call. When we allow our government to put us on the line for 10 trillion plus in new spending, while they simultaneously promise tax cuts, that is a wake up call. And that is why it was an honor to participate in the local tea party, which should be regarded as a historic event. In a day and age when the media would have you believe that traditional values are dead, conservatism is a thing of the past, and those leaning right are all conspiracists and Christian radicals, its nice to witness the coming together of so many that still believe in the goodness of our country. There are so many that believe in the governing principles that this country was founded on!
Participation in such events is one way we can stretch ourselves and help our Nation get back on track. May I suggest a few other ways that we can look at these “trying times” as the cloaked opportunities that they really are. Before proceeding I must be clear, this could be one of the best things that has ever happened to this great nation, but it could also be the worst! What makes the difference? The difference is what we DO with the opportunity. We can cry and complain of our “hardships” and maintain an unrealistic expectation of some super hero coming to save us from our woes. Or we can seize the opportunity as a chance to learn, lift and grow together as friends and countrymen. I choose the latter!
Here’s a few suggestions, and we’d love to hear more from any of you:
1. The “financial crisis” is an opportunity to figure out how to create value in ways that no one has thought of yet. It is also a time to learn to be more charitable to those less fortunate than yourself. This is also an opportunity to re-review the principles behind sound financial decisions which are based on true wealth and figures, not absence of value or inflation of it.
2. The governments choosing to stray from the principles of the Constitution and the ideals of the Founding Fathers is an opportunity to get involved and get educated so that we can get back on track as a Nation. It is all too easy, as I have personally experienced, to be passive and ignorant when the government is, for the most part, operating on sound principles. Most of the time it takes things slipping away for us to give us the much needed wake-up call.
3. The severe decline in moral behavior is an opportunity to take a second look at what governing principles and morals our country was founded on. This country was founded on Christian principles taught by God Himself. As we make a conscious effort to rediscover and share these principles to combat the growing immorality of our nation, it will present an opportunity to grow closer to our Creator, whose country this is.
As we work together to overcome some of the trials we face today, let’s focus on the opportunities these trying times present. The ability to overcome is what makes mankind great. As long as we are always trying to move forward as individuals, and bring as many people along as we can, we can never fail as a people or a Nation.
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
– Albert Einstein
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