Life gives us opportunities, blessings, trials and tribulations. Life is a journey; both physical and spiritual. It’s what we do with this life that matters most. How does one persevere in life when there are so many challenges, obstacles and hurdles to overcome? And why must they even exist? Why can’t life be just peachy?
There is a simple answer to these questions: Without the challenges, obstacles and hurdles, you wouldn’t grow spiritually. Also, without difficulties in this life, you would take the opportunities and blessings for granted. You would take God for granted!
Perseverance is such a necessary virtue. Anything worthwhile usually does not come instantly. It comes after we have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the situation. If we give up too soon, we lose out on opportunities and blessings. We are left to wonder “What if?” However, if we face the challenges, obstacles and hurdles, and leave no stone unturned, we gain in wisdom, knowledge and understanding, even if we fail. We appreciate the fruits of our labor all the more; taking nothing for granted. We become grateful for life’s teachings.
Having been born with clubbed feet, I learned perseverance at a very early age. As a child, I suffered through twelve surgeries, many months on crutches, numerous sessions of brutal physical therapy and years of wearing braces on my legs. Yet with each surgery, and each session of physical therapy, I grew physically stronger. Over time, I could see the improvement. I faced the challenges, plowed through the obstacles and crawled under the hurdles. (There’s more than one way to survive and get to the finish line, you know).
Facing the Challenges of Life
What I went through as a child prepared me for the spiritual challenges, obstacles and hurdles that awaited me. Four years ago, I grew tired of being a bank auditor (after 24 years of doing the job). I wanted a change. I wanted to work for God instead. So I retired, went back to school, and got my Masters Degree. As graduation approached, the devil capitalized on all of my doubts and fears. What could I do with a Masters in Theology? How will I make a living? Did I do the right thing, going back to school?
Oh, let me tell you, the devil was having his way with me. So, I told the devil to take a hike. I turned in serious prayer to God. I have to admit, that at first, I thought my prayers were being ignored (again the devil was trying to convince me of that). However, I now see that God has been silently at work on my behalf all along, as I have begun to see all of the blessings and opportunities in front of me. I have also seen God at work addressing my sinful weaknesses. I began to see all of this when I began to persevere in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, focusing on Luke 6: 22-34 (Dependence on God). Now, I no longer fear. I simply persevere.