Life's Challenges

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are. ~ Bernice Johnson Reagon, Singer/Composer

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Miniature Rocky Balboa

Most of the time we never think about the fragility of life.  We think we are invincible.

My newborn grandson Austin is making small but thrilling improvements.  He reminds me of both how fragile life is and how durable.  He’s a miniature Rocky Balboa, running up the steps of his own training field, ready to throw his tiny hands in the air.

He is facing several serious battles.  But no child has more love pouring over them.  His parents are examples of what parents should be in these situations.  Attentive.  Courageous.  Fervent in their faith.  Determined in their care.  Abundant in their love.

I am so proud of both of them.

It is easy when things go wrong to want to blame.  To feel as though life is against us.  To toss a look of disdain upward and ask what happened to all of that power God has.  To assume the devil is up to something and we are under some form of spiritual assault.

But the truth is, life is just a mystery most of the time.  It’s impossible to figure all of the good and bad things out.  And really, to be honest, it’s unnecessary.

The ancient Rabbis used to say, “Sometimes you have to rake through many ashes before you find an ember.”

That’s a worthwhile task in life.  There are embers to be found in the ashes of our hurts and sorrows and disappointments.  And from them warmth, comfort, light.

Ashes come to all of us.  And all of us come to ashes.  Searching for and finding those embers of okayness with life and with its mysteries is a significant part of understanding our humanness and our humanity.

It takes a little bit of Rocky in us to do it well.

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